Need to isolate? Rent an island monastery


LOOKING for the ultimate bubble break in splendid isolation? Then hire yourself a monastery. And did I mention that it’s out on an island in the Adriatic Sea?

LOPUD 1483 is a 15th century monastery on the Croatian island of Lopud, from which it takes its name as a gorgeous getaway.

Lovingly restored over the last 20 years, and boasting bespoke artworks from one of the world’s great private collections, it is, quite literally, unique.

Once a medieval sanctuary for contemplation, wellness and culture, it offers luxury and seclusion to 21st century travellers.

And no, it’s not cheap. Obviously.

The Franciscan monastery has overlooked the island for centuries but has been transformed by Francesca Thyssen-Bornemisza and her family.

She has worked with the Arhitektri studio in Zagreb to ensure that every aspect was carefully designed in order to preserve the monastery’s heritage.

Now it’s welcoming guests, either as an exclusive hideaway for up to 10 people  sharing five suites, or available per suite in April and October next year.

The 13 original cells of the 5,000 square metre monastery have been transformed into exquisite suites with wooden ceilings, windows and floors, and views onto the sea or medicinal garden.

Each room features a unique combination of Renaissance furniture, from the Thyssen-Bornemisza collection, as well as bespoke new pieces by Italian designer Paola Lenti and contemporary art from the TBA21 collection.

Meals can be enjoyed outside or in the Old Kitchen – with an open fire and functional bread oven, used to make delicious fresh pizzas today.

Best of all, guests can indulge with cocktails and canapes on the Sunset Terrace, located on the top of the fortress, offering exceptional views of Lopud and The Elaphiti Islands.

Wellness offerings include locally inspired spa treatments, Alchemy Bars, in-house meditation experts – and visiting practitioners can be arranged too.

“This undiscovered island sanctuary has been designed as a place where history, art and botanical exploration ignite the senses,” says the family.

The monastery is also home to a Sacred Garden, complete with nine stations designed for meditation and contemplation, and a traditional Franciscan Pharmacy.

As with all holiday opportunities, always check the latest travel advice. Now let’s pray for an end to the Covid calamity and look forward to the day when we can travel freely.

LOPUD 1483 is available for exclusive hire from April to October. The rate for all five suites, sleeping 10 guests, is €10,000 per night on a half board basis. In April and October, individual suites may be available to book from €2,000 per night on a B&B basis. Dubrovnik is the closest mainland airport. See www.lopud1483.com

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