The Hermit Experience as a Form of Tourism

The growth of interest in the eremitical life seems to have led to the development what might be described as “eremitical tourism”.
tourist hermitage 1
A number of religious (and some commercial) organizations have begun offering “the Hermit experience” in purpose built “Hermitages”, some of them very luxurious indeed.
tourist hermitage 2
Some of the offerings are basically forms of solitary spiritual retreat in an isolated (albeit seemingly always scenic) location.
tourist hermitage 5
Others are far more fashionable and self-indulgent, with spas, sauna and swimming pools. Air-conditioning and heating seem to be the norm.
tourist hermitage 6
In some cases, meals are provided, but in others the temporary “Hermits” are required to self-cater in what are usually quite well equipped kitchens.
tourist hermitage 7
Promotions usually include the assurance that it “offers people the opportunity to experience a hermit way of life that suits their own tastes and desires.”
tourist hermitage 8
The Good Retreat Guide Online – http://www.thegoodretreatguide.com/facilities/hermitages – offers listings of “Hermitages”, although most of those facilities listed could not reasonably be described as “Hermitages”.
tourist hermitage 9
While a retreat in comfortable (even luxurious) solitude may be a good thing, even spiritually and psychologically beneficial, it would seem an exaggeration to suggest that it can be a “Hermit experience”.
tourist hermitage 10
Some examples of contemporary offerings on-line:
http://www.glencomeragh.ie/Hermitages
http://vophermitages.org/
http://www.fetzer.org/retreat-facilities/gilchrist/hermitages
http://fscaston.org/hermitages/
http://www.paceminterris.org/experience-pacem/the-hermitages/
http://www.spirituallifeinstitute.org/Nada.html#retreats%20at%20nada
http://www.sistersofihm.org/what-we-do/retreats-hermitages/
http://solitaryretreat.com/
http://www.holyspiritrc.org/hermitages.html
http://www.capuchinscanada.com/newmountalverno/index.php?page=the-hermitage
http://vallecrucishermitages.blogspot.com.au/
http://www.skyfarm.org/photos.htm
http://www.marymount-hermitage.org/retreat.htm
http://www.cenaclesisters.org/ronkonkoma/about-us/building-campaign.aspx
http://www.pinesretreat.org/hermitages.html
http://www.franciscansm.org/portiuncula

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