Hospitality on a Wing and a Prayer

“A Guide to Monastic Guest Houses,” by Robert J. Regalbuto, is the only resource I’m aware of for finding these ascetic, restful havens for “holy leisure” (in the author’s words) across our continent. The most recent (fourth) edition identifies more than 225 such retreats spread across every state and Canadian province.

Such lodgings are not for everyone, but if you’re intrigued by the notion of spiritually inclined accommodation--which, moreover, averages in the $30 to $35 a night range--you might just want to give this volume a thumb-through. Some rates, we should note, include at least one meal, and all are “suggested” payments; some guest houses ask only for a donation.

The useful and oddly inspiring little tome, which sells for $19.95, is from Morehouse Publishing and can be found in most major bookstores; alternately, you can access the company’s Web site at, or call (717) 541-8130.

Now, a postscript to some earlier columns: In the search for last-minute room discounts at leading hotel chains, many readers have challenged my preference for the savings programs of Holiday Inns and Choice Hotels, claiming that Radisson Hotels and Days Inns offer similar or better values.


If you log on to on a Wednesday morning and click on “Hot Deals,” you’ll find discount offers for Radissons around the world. On a recent visit to the site, one reader found a Denver-area property cutting its nightly rate for weekday stays from $119 to $79. The same reader says that Radisson’s specially discounted Internet rates are often lower than those of major Internet hotel discounters.

Another good prospect is the Days Inn Web site, claim numerous readers. Go to and click on “Days Deals.” Then click on your destination state, then on a participating hotel, then input your reservation data. You’ll pull up a list of prices whose lowest figure is often designated as a “Days Deal.” For instance, a San Diego Days Inn had a pre-holiday reduction from $99 per room to $72 for weekdays.