Retrome is exactly what its name promises: it is retro by its decor, urban by location and a retreat by atmosphere.
Retrome is located in the fashionable Eixample district, close to Gaudi architecture and the Sagrada Familia. Streets are here wider, shops a touch fancier and the tourist flocks a bit more sparse than, let’s say, in the constantly buzzing Gothic Quarter or La Rambla. And as the other travellers don’t remind me of my own status as a tourist, with the Retrome key card in my pocket, it actually feels that I live in Barcelona – even if it for just one night.
To my surprise, as I step into the second-floor lobby to check in, I am welcomed by a fellow Finn who has been living in Barcelona for a few years. We sit at the kitchen table sipping coffee as she gives local’s tips for where to enjoy our evening tapas.
Around me, the common areas of Retrome look artistic yet homey: I recognise similarities from my family’s old photo albums. Green sofas, wooden materials, LP record player (which I myself used to own too, in my “hippie” years in the late 1990s!), even a Vespa and a stack of suitcases. Only the floor and wall tiles differ from my photo albums: here, they are traditionally Catalan.
Even with its retro theme, Retrome is a modern traveller’s retreat: a traveller’s who craves for a something different, a touch of personality on her travels and city expeditions.
Retrome was first opened in Rome in 2005 and then in Barcelona in 2012. The furniture is hand picked from vintage stores and garage sales mostly in Northern Europe. The lobby, sitting area and a kitchenette is located in one building and some of the rooms in the building next door. Here, a renovation is underway so that breakfast facilities can be added from the beginning of 2017. Now, breakfast is enjoyed in a coffee shop, Zafra, across the street which only adds to the feeling that you actually live in the area, and just happen to pop into one of the cafés for a cortado and croissant.
My room continues in the same stroke what the reception area promised: furnished with style with a little glint in the corner of the eye. Calm colours are enlivened with touches of bright primary colours in the hangars and other small items. Everything is clean, comfortable and easygoing.
I spend a little bit of time on the balcony, observing the traffic below – Barcelonians use bicycles more than I had assumed! There are people carrying a big mattress, others stopping for a quick coffee. Cars stop for red lights and disappear when the lights turn green. I decide to step out and explore the streets, having a little evening snack in the nearby gastro bar Betlem.
For the whole duration of my stay, I have a feeling that I belong here, in Barcelona: Retrome feels like a “home away from home”, and I feel lucky to have discovered it. From now on, Retrome will be a part of my every visit to Barcelona.
P.S. I wish to thank Retrome Barcelona for the opportunity to stay in their Urban Retreat! With this post, I begin my new series “stylish stays” alongside my series exploring Europe’s historic hotels. With this series of stylish stays, I wish to make unique finds for my readers on their travels.
Retrome Urban Retreat Barcelona
Double room from low season 65€ to high season 145€
11 rooms, 4 apartments