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“Value and a view”

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Cel.les Abat Marcet
Knoxville, Tennessee
Level 5 Contributor
78 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Value and a view”
Reviewed March 17, 2013

For those unfamiliar with the concept of staying in pilgrimage quarters at a monastery or convent, the idea of staying at the Cel.les Abat Marcet may come as a shock: think of your first apartment after college (or maybe during college) with a basic kitchenette and a dining room-living room-TV room combination, plus a small bedroom. Then throw in crazy winds, overly hot boiler-powered heating units, and a very spartan single bed (or four, depending on the apartment you win the lottery on) and you'll pretty much have Cel.les Abat Marcet in a nutshell.

Except for the view: the view makes it all worthwhile, if you know which rooms to ask for, facing towards the chapel and the valley below. It also doesn't hurt that those same rooms, with a little ingenuity, offer a decent WiFi connection glommed off the Hostal Abat Cisneros or the Montserrate museum. Decent enough to call back to the States on Skype even.

After four years, staying one week each February after the Mobile World Congress show, I'm still discovering new things. For instance, a stay here qualifies for free, unlimited cremallera rides up and down the mountain, to the local village with its small shops, grocery store and excellent restaurants like BO2, which we've also reviewed. And a discount at the self-service cafeteria for lunch (although it's a bit tricky as to which of the menu items you get the discount on). And a great set-menu price of €21 per person at the three-star on-site restaurant in a converted wince cell.

In fact, one thing I learned on the last trip is that a three-day stay allows for a 2 per cent discount, driving the price of a single stay in off season down to less than £10 per night (or €16 or $22). Yes that's per night!

I recommend you bring dish soap and a bag full of food from the Carrefour in Barcelona or the small grocery store in Monistrol de Montserrat. In other words, plan ahead.But with 60 miles of mountain hiking trails and some of the best art in Europe (did I mention that Montserrat is where Ignatius Loyola founded the Jesuits, meaning it's the spiritual home of the new Pope, Francis I?) the Cel.les Abat Marcet provide a calm oasis from a hectic world.

So for all those who come unprepared for the basics, including forgetting that they're not staying at a four-star hotel (or even a hotel at all), lay your burdens at the foot of the mountain and don't harsh the vibe in this sacred place, ok?

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Braintrust
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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41 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (3)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
  • French first
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  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
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English first
Vancouver, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed February 9, 2013

One thing to note is that there are two types of accommodation at Montserrat: the hotel and the apartments. This review is about the apartments.

Although we had read not so great reviews about accommodation at Montserrat we decided to take a chance anyway because we really wanted to stay on the mountain and we were only staying two nights. The apartments are much cheaper than the hotel and we thought that if we had a kitchen we could avoid eating in the restaurant, which according to reviews was overpriced and not great. It’s also the only restaurant open in the evening.

However, it turned out that the supermarket was closed the entire time we were there so we couldn’t buy groceries and we ended up eating in the restaurant anyway, which is, as reviewers noted, very average and over-priced although it’s a pleasant enough room.

There was no one at the desk of the apartments so we had to go to the hotel for our key. (We assumed this was because it was off-season). Back at the apartments we had trouble finding our room and there was no one around to help us. Once we found our room it appeared that there was only one single bed so we had to go back up to the hotel to enquire. It turns out that one bed fits underneath the other so we went back down and figured it out. The sheets were provided and we had to make up our own beds.

The apartment was very basic and had an odd odour. The bathroom was tiny (the wall was so close to the toilet that we had to sit sideways on the seat). There was no shower curtain so no matter what we did water went all over the floor.

The kitchen was dirty and poorly equipped but we didn’t use it at all (because we couldn’t get groceries).

Superficially the apartment looked clean-ish but when we pulled out the blankets one of them was disgusting.

The walls were very thin so we could really hear the family beside us (it didn’t help that their kids ran up and down the hall until 11pm).

However, the location was fabulous and the next day we walked up the mountain and thoroughly enjoyed the views. Although it was great being on the mountain I can’t recommend the accommodation. The ONLY reason to stay here is the location.

An odd note: one of the TV stations is constantly tuned to the basilica so you can see what’s happening inside.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank W3A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Matlock, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed November 7, 2012

Fabulous location.
But the rooms were very basic. The beds were not made when we arrived. There were not many blankets. The kitchens were not well equipped. It was not very homely. But a lot cheaper than the hotel. Oh; and the supermarket is very poorly stocked, but does have (expensive) basics, including wine and beer... Bread from the gift shop.
The bells were nice!
...and Monserrat is incredible.

Room Tip: Higher up is better, but the lifts are rubbish!
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank MartinofAshleyhay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
preston, uk
Level 5 Contributor
67 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 116 helpful votes
Reviewed March 3, 2012

We stayed in the hotel on our first night - there's a separate review for that.

At Reception the guy gave us the key when we asked him which was 4 hours early so a good start. We were very impressed when we got in there - a decent kitchen with a hob and fridge etc. A very spacious lounge with a huge table big enough to seat 8 and then a separate bedroom. Instantly I though - oh dear we booked the studio apartment, not the one bedroom! We didn't say anything and really I'm glad we didn't because we stayed for 3 nights and met a couple of Finnish travellers that booked and received a studio and it was pokey! Their table was only just about big enough for 2. Sooo squashed up! They were very envious when they saw ours - we had them over for drinks etc., there's no way we could have seated anyone had we received a studio too. I don't think a 1 bedroom cost much more so my advise is book the 1 bedroom in case you don't get lucky like us!

I dont know if all the apartments are similar but in the 1 bedroom there was no oven, in the Finnish lady's studio they had an oven... and made pizza!

Our purpose for this visit was Rock climbing and relaxation. If anyone needs rock climbing advice for the area, feel free to message me. There's not much out there advice wise unless you speak Catalan so we wasted a day trying to find sport routes which I can easily guide you to via email!!

Note - There's building work in the area, including the reception of the apartments, we just accepted it and got on with the holiday but if you're irritated by early awakenings you might get annoyed. They're spending millions on the area so that's gonna create some noise!

Room Tip: If you're a couple a bedroom apartment is so much better and bigger than the studio's and t...
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank ILoveReviewing
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Cel.les Abat Marcet

Property: Cel.les Abat Marcet
Address: Monestir de Montserrat s/n, 08199 Montserrat, Spain
Phone Number:
Location: Spain > Catalonia > Province of Barcelona > Montserrat
Amenities:
Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 Specialty Lodging in Montserrat
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Cel.les Abat Marcet 3*
Number of rooms: 92
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Abat Marcet Apartments today are fully-equipped, modern apartments designed to provide maximum comfort: bathroom, kitchen, heating, telephone and television. It is the ideal place to come with family or friends to organise a visit to Montserrat at your own pace. The Abat Marcet building contains 92 apartments for 1, 2, 3 and 4 people, with total accommodation for up to 260 people. ... more   less 
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