I noted that my wife and I just completed our first retreat at Prince of Peace Abbey. I don’t think I can do much justice in describing just how marvelous an experience this was for us. I can say it was one of the most restful and restorative experiences, both physically and spiritually, that I’ve had in a very long time. I felt, at the end of the retreat, that I was leaving home; it was very difficult to pull myself away from the place.
The first thing you notice at any monastery is the silence that pervades enclosure. I think, if there was any one key to the weekend, it was just being able to bask in that silence. It is so hard to find anywhere outside a monastic enclosure these days, and people even seem to go out of their way to avoid it. I think they don't know what they're missing.
I can also add, even the food was good, and all the monks we met were very friendly and helpful.
Beyond that, all I can say is, if you've never done a retreat at an Abbey, you really ought to give it a try, real soon.
A final note, we were able to meet an Oblate couple who worked in the bookstore/gift shop at the Abbey. I doubt they will ever read this, but I have to take a moment to thank them for their great help and efforts to display true Benedictine hospitality. If they are any indication, this must be a good group of Oblates.