Elleboogstraat 2, Ravenstein, Netherlands
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Soeterbeeck Ravenstein Reviews
Sleeping in a nun's bed Jul 04, 2011
I was participating in a workshop in Ravenstein, a small village close to Nijmegen. I had no idea about the place we were going to stay at. I was travelling with a four colleagues from my work and we had landed in Schiphol Airport and rented a car to get us to Ravenstein.
I had booked the car through the company’s travel agency and they had given us a way too small one and without any possibility to change for something bigger. It gave us quite some laughs on the one-hour drive to get to Ravenstein. I had also entered the shortest route on the GPS so we ended up taking a small ferry too.
When we arrived at the place we were going to sleep we were quite surprised as well. Soeterbeeck was an old convent that the local university had taken over and there was also a small hotel where you as a group could get in. The former convent was now a meeting place for reflection on science, philosophy, culture and society as they stated. It was just what we needed.
We arrived day before the workshop and the place was therefore quite empty. Our hosts for the coming two days greeted us and took us to the reception. We had place to just drop off the suitcases and head for Ravenstein to see if we could find something to eat. It was wonderful weather and the place looked great. There was a huge internal park where you could sit and relax or go for a walk. Just at the entrance there was a lounge area and next to that a bar area in a glass appendix with a nice terrace outside facing the garden.
The reception was to the left from where you entered and a friendly young man in a classic waiter suit with pinstriped vest greeted us and gave us our keys. The keys were really huge and old and with a simple plastic tag on. I was given room number 19 and it turned out to be a small room that had belonged to a nun named Anna de Groote. The place was really special, on the way to the rooms we passed the beautiful restored church and the furniture and relics were all what you could expect from a convent. There were no bathrooms in the rooms but there was hall where there were several huge bathrooms next to each other for us all to share.
The room I was given was small and with small and narrow bed; and I was almost cracking when I saw that I was going to sleep there the next 2 nights. The room had some new modern construction that should do it for closet and desk. There was no TV or radio but there was a Wi-Fi working in the room. It was a modern nun’s room. Everything was kept extremely simple.
It was a place for reflection and thinking great thoughts. It was kind of remarkable how fast I adapted to this place already the following morning I was far from my office and just enjoyed the atmosphere of the old convent and especially the quite and tranquiller garden or park. There was not much to do at this place except to concentrate on the task and relax.
The food at the place was quite basic and not much to write about; the breakfasts were okay, the lunch was fair but I was quite disappointed about the dinner, but it was a positive experience to visit this university hotel.
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