Mont Sant Benet is a cultural complex found in Sant Benet de Bages in Catalonia. The complex includes a hotel, a medieval monastery, the Alícia foundation by Ferran Adrià and the summer residence of the Catalan painter Ramón Casas. All this complex is surrounded by the natural park of Sant Llorenç del Munt i l'Obac.
I loved that place since the first day I stayed in, we had a romantic weekend away and since it is near Barcelona is easy to go and return the same day if needed, it is 50 minutes far from Barcelona.
It is a different concept, it is not a resort or anything like that but more a cultural complex where you can find cultural activities and monuments in the same space and also having all the advantages of a hotel and Alicia Foundation in the gastronomic site to offer workshops related to food and cuisine.
Hotel Món in Sant Benet de Bages
All rooms have a terrace overlooking the natural park, it is very beautiful to be in the middle of nature and see all the park when opening the curtains. Comfy beds, well-designed rooms and great quality of service. The hotel also offers massages and treatments, I haven't tried it yet, but definitely will as this is one of the things I love the most in hotels, to have a massage a call away from your room.
There is free access to the outdoor swimming pool, it is tiny but more than enough to sunbathe and swim a little bit to refresh, I spent great mornings reading books and swimming. I recommend you to book one of their packages that have a dinner included plus a visit to the monastery if it is your first time.
The hotel has three different restaurants that offer choices for everyone, Restaurant Món is a Catalan and Mediterranean cuisine restaurant with a viewable kitchen where you can see all cook's moves and how the food is prepared.They also have Restaurant L'Ó, a Michelin star restaurant that has fusion cuisine between new and traditional food that will lead you to a meal full of sensations. And the last but not the least is Restaurant Fonda, that is known by his creative Catalan cuisine with new textures and flavours and great quality of food. You cannot miss any of the three, all of them offer great food and quality of products, some of them found in the same area.
St Benet benedictine monastery
Món Sant Benet is a cultural heritage centre that opened its doors in 2007 and the benedictine monastery is part of the complex and belongs to the boundaries of Sant Fruitós de Bages. The monastery is one of the best-preserved medieval monastic sites in Catalonia, it is not just a simple monastery!
The St Benet de Bages monastery was founded in 960 by the Viscounts of Conflent and on its origins, it held relics of Saint Valentine that came directly from Rome. From the 11th to the13th century, the monastery received different attacks but regardless it was the time of greatest prosperity.
From 15th century onwards the monastery sank into decline and on 17th century the monastery became the site of a College of Arts, after that it was used to be home for elderly Monks from Montserrat Monastery.
The religious order was abolished on 1835 and only the church continued its activity until 1907 when the family of the painter Ramón Casas bought the place.
One of our visits during our stay was the monastery, it is a must do and a fantastic medieval monument, there is a guided tour through the place with an introductory video and they explain the life in the monastery and all the history that it is in its walls.
You will see the most emblematic parts of the monastery such as the church, the cloister, the cellar and the cells of the Montserrat gallery.
Ramon Casas: summer residence of the catalan painter
There is another cultural activity to do in the same complex, you can visit Ramón Casas summer residence and go in depth about the Catalan painter's life and work.There also different interesting packages to choose from in Hotel Món and some of them include the entrance to Casas house. Casas house reminded us how life used to be in the 30s, the family of the painter bought the upper cloister and converted the space into their summer residence.
The monastery inspired the style of the time which was the Catalan art Noveau. Casas Family had an impressive collection of decorative art and brought to their summer residence furniture from different places. The visit will drive you to the time where the family still lived in their residence.
Alícia foundation and vegetable garden
Alícia foundation is a place where investigation related to food technology is held by Ferran Adrià project. Visitors can see all the research space and play with their perceptions and senses in a workshop. You can taste food in a game where visitors discover the importance of senses what is the cuisine for us.
There is a vegetable garden as well, and an activity associated with it to go to the garden and pick up the vegetables needed for dinner, so the participants in the activity will be collecting their own food that they will eat at the hotel's restaurant. They explain what they grow in the garden and varieties of vegetables.