This is such an unique and peaceful place in Big Sur - most people haven't heard of it and instead go enjoy themselves down the road in Esalen. There are around 14 monks living in the monastery which is completely supported by the retreat center and bookshop, which sells amazing assortment of books and local produce.
The church is always a great place to visit and meditate - they even have meditation mats there. I have once stayed overnight here, but usually it's pretty hard to get a reservation last-minute and the rates aren't exactly low either, but they are absolutely worth it. The road has been upgraded a couple of years ago, making it much easier to drive up for most people.
I always drop by during my visit to Big Sur, spend some time meditating in the church, then buy a book or two in the bookshop. I hope to keep coming here in the future to find peace and calm.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- we camaldolese monks greet you in the peace of Our Lord, Jesus Christ.We are a working monastery with accommodations and an environment geared toward spiritual retreats. Those looking simply for overnight accommodations are likely to be better served elsewhere.Here at the Hermitage,we offer retreatants a beautiful place of quiet and prayer. We ask you to maintain silence in your room, the kitchen and the area around the retreat house. If you want to have a conversation with someone, please go for a walk down the driveway with them.Monastic prayer:The monks gather for prayer in the Chapel four times a day. You are most welcome to join us. The bell will ring 15 minutes before Vigils; 5 minutes before Lauds, Mass and Vespers. (The 5:30pm bell is a signal for monks in the cloister only)The regular schedule is as follows:5:30AM vigils (daily) 7:00AM lauds (daily)11:30AM eucharist (weekdays)11:00AM eucharist (Sundays)6:00PM vespers (weekdays)5:00PM vespers (Sundays)Liturgy of the hours:After the opening prayer of each service, a monk will offer assistance to those unfamiliar with the order of prayer. The regular schedule may be changed for Feast Days, Solemnities and Community Days. There is also a silent half hour of prayer every day in the Chapel Rotunda immediately following Vespers.In addition to the daily prayer schedule, retreatants are invited to join the monks to pray the Rosary and participate in Collatio (scripture study). The schedule for these will be posted on the Chapel door.Spiritual counsel and reconciliation:If you would like to talk with one of the monks for spiritual counsel, or to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation, please make your request to the attendant at the bookstore who will make those arrangements.Meals and retreat house kitchen area:To maintain the gift of silence, all meals are eaten in solitude in your own room or garden.Your room is provided with an electric hot pot for hot water and packets of instant coffee, tea, a tray and dishes provided to pick up your meal from the retreat house kitchen. The retreat house kitchen is always open and is stocked with cereals, milk, fruit, yogurts, breads and a fresh Breakfast item which you may use to prepare breakfast at your leisure. From 1:30pm daily, soup, salad and a fresh Supper dish are also provided. Please be sure to clean up after using any facilities.Take note of the two shower rooms on the right as you enter the kitchen area and the smallloan library in the kitchen. Please return borrowed books to the shelf before you leave so they may be made available to others.Bookstore:Open daily for check-in, books, music and gifts: Mornings; 8:00~11:15 a.m. Afternoons; 1:15~5:00 p.m.Personal calls can be made from the telephone booth at the bookstore whenever it is open.Because we have only this one booth please try to make your calls brief. The nearest public phone is located at Lucia Lodge, a short drive North on Hwy 1.Sending or receiving mail:Items for mailing can be left at the bookstore and the postage paid there. If you are expecting mail, please let the monk at the Bookstore know and check back there.If you are missing any items or have a problem or a particular need, please inquire at the Bookstore and the attendant will gladly help.Recycling:We provide containers in the kitchen area to recycle paper, plastic, glass, and aluminum. Please be mindful of these when disposing trash.Hiking:Walks are a wonderful way to commune with God through the beauty of nature. We suggest you walk the main driveway, which is two miles long to Highway 1. Sitting areas are provided at various points along the road. Because of the widespread poison oak and in order to maintain the cloister of the monks, retreatants are asked to limit their walks to the drive and not to follow dirt roads or paths into the wilderness area. Please do not feed any of the wild animals.In an emergency:Notify the attendant at the bookstore. When the bookstore is closed use the intercom phone inside the kitchen: Call the GuestMaster, #108. If no answer call #115. For specific instructions in the event of fire please read the card provided in your room.Driving Driections:Our Hermitage is located 50 miles south of Monterey, Ca.; and 45 miles north of Cambria, Ca. on Highway 1. Driving time is about an hour and fifteen minutes from either Monterey or Cambria. Our driveway is located on the inland side of the highway ½ mile south of Lucia (if you are driving from the north); 1 mile north of Limekiln State Beach (if you are driving from the south). ... more less
- Also Known As:
- New Camaldoli Hermitage Hotel Big Sur