Step in Kalart, a community of creatives, intellectuals, artists, and let go of all the things that held your spirit down. Connect with nature and others, discover your true passions, interests and make bondings worth a lifetime.
Be a part of an inspiring urban community located in the gorgeous Catalonian countryside, just 50 minutes distance from Barcelona. Discover nature and wilderness while growing in the vibrant society of the Valley of Montseny.
Before you book your stay, read more about the idea behind it in our interview with Roger, one of Kalart’s coliving’s founders.
Interview sections Hide
How it all started
“We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men.”
1. When and why did you decide to open a coliving space of your own?
– It was 2019, and it was more like a personal/lifestyle decision than a business-orientated one. Three partners and I wanted to live community-style in a rural area.
Therefore, we were thinking about how to make a feasible community lifestyle without it being community management, where it’s more horizontal and has much more challenges regarding any other issues.
We found out that this formula can work out pretty well.
2. Have you ever stayed in some other coliving space or any shared accommodation before you decided to open your own?
– Definitely, but not a proper coliving, although we have visited but not stayed. Two of my business partners and I were traveling around the world for two years.
We started a previous project, a retreat place that worked as a kind of rural hotel/hostel, and were hosting people who wanted to come for yoga, detox, meditation, etc.
We are very familiar with shared accommodation and the hospitality sector.
3. Do you remember beginnings and what was the most difficult for you when you started your coliving?
– Definitely. For us, the biggest challenge was to get some clients; the type of clients that we wanted and to have the capacity to filter them.
It wasn’t quite easy since we didn’t invest in marketing and promoting coliving in the first phase. Therefore, we didn’t have enough clients to filter them and decide who could stay in our place and who could not.
As I will explain later, this was a hybrid formula of coliving. Something between a coliving and a community. We wanted to know who is joining the project, even if it was only for a short period of time.
Not having enough capacity to filter and interview the people who would stay in our coliving was a little bit of a challenge.
4. Is there something that you wished you knew when you started with coliving?
– I wished we knew that we needed to do a marketing effort. We are in a rural setting that is not one of the top ten desired destinations. We are based in the rural area of Barcelona.
The market is not mature enough for this type of project. Especially, without marketing effort on PR, on media, on social networks, etc.
5. Have you had the opportunity to visit other coliving places since you opened yours?
– Not to stay, but we visited some of them, especially those on the Canary Islands.
6. What is the story behind you choosing Spain as the location for opening your coliving space?
– Well, we were born here. We are from this area, more or less.
We choose this area because it is a natural park. It is fifty minutes away from Barcelona and it already has a vibrant international community.
This place is close to a village that was receiving a lot of intellectuals in the ’80s; people from creative and cultural industries.
So it is a good location for our project.
7. What are the advantages of having coliving at a remote rural place, and are there any disadvantages?
– For us, it is all advantages.
We are interested in a type of lifestyle, that’s why we chose to open the coliving in this valley. This means we are surrounded by nature. We are in a natural park.
It is definitely very different from living in a city, for many features that change, regarding the quality of life, but we still have access to the city in fifty minutes (highway, train, or bus).
The good thing is also that we are not in a remote village. It is a special type of village, and there are only two or three like this in this whole area (Catalonian Region), and maybe ten places like this in whole Spain.
This place is a village, a sized village, but still, there are maybe 2000 inhabitants of which half of them are related to tourism and creative industries, culture industries, holistic industries. It is full of therapists, yoga teachers, artists, musicians, painters, creators, etc.
This is a very conceptual situation. It is like a hub or small cluster, and that is why we chose this particular place. Although it was difficult to set up and to find the place, it’s very competitive regarding accommodation.
“The artist is not a different kind of person, but every person is a different kind of artist.”
8. What is the profile of people who are most likely to stay at your place?
– We try to filter people from creative industries. We are not very interested in pure digital nomads that work eight hours in front of screens. Kalart is something between artist residency, coliving, and community.
Nowadays, we can filter people that can stay with us. They need to be aligned with our values, our vision, and a little bit of our lifestyle.
9. What is the average age of people who are visiting your accommodation?
– Between 27 and 40 years old.
10. How long do people usually stay at your place?
– We have two types of visits/accommodation.
Shorter (one to three months). Here at Kalart, we don’t host anyone less than a month, since we don’t think you can meet someone in that short period.
We are not focused on making money. We are focused on enriching ourselves, especially inner enrichment.
Growing together, meeting new people that do different stuff, learn from them, share different experiences, live this communal life. We found out that less than a month is impossible to open up, connect and make bondings.
The long term (on average from 7 to 9 months long). Some people have even stayed for a year and a half, which is the maximum.
They come here, they are in this urban exodus, mostly people who want to do a shift in their lifestyle. Try to live as entrepreneurs, a new type of career orientation. They do not want to be in this rat race anymore, 9 – 5, and they don’t want to be in a city.
We are useful to them as a platform, to try what it’s like to live in a rural area, what it is like to live in a kind of community lifestyle with plenty of activities that we do.
11. Do your visitors have the tendency to return back to your place?
– Not really. Once they come here and they like it, after some months, they usually decide to stay and move to this area.
We have what we called Kalartians, ex-visitors from Kalart, that moved to the same valley and became part of our community as well.
12. Is there some trend where people from specific countries come to your place?
– Not really. We have more national people (from Spain) than international.
13. What additional activities are included for people who stay at your coliving?
– We have many!
We do men’s circles, contact improvisations, static dance, singing circles, plenty of concerts, exhibitions, etc. Of course, we have bicycles you can take, plenty of hikes, plenty of rivers.
There are also other activities we do with the big community. As I said before, there is a big community of people of culture, of creative industries in the village, so there is always something happening.
About the Coliving Movement
”The need for connection and community is primal, as fundamental as the need for air, water, and food.”
14. Do you think that coliving is only dedicated to a specific group of people such as freelancers, digital nomads, and startups, or do you think there is a possibility to gain popularity beyond that group of people?
– Even though we are open to freelancers and digital nomads, we are not very much focused on these profiles.
It’s a mixture, we have hosted a couple of art teachers who don’t believe in public education systems and want to change and rethink their careers and they come for that.
15. Do you think that coliving cannot exist without coworking?
– It can exist, but you need to have coworking nearby. It can be as a part of coliving or as a separate coworking that is in a partnership with the coliving.
Actually, I believe that it is even better to have coworking outside of coliving, but close and easily accessible.
16. One of the main selling points for coliving is the possibility to meet new people, share experiences and maybe even develop new partnerships. Is that really the situation?
– Yes, definitely.
To me, it is the meaning of coliving, finding like-minded people. That is why we take so much care of the process of selection. We invest a lot of time in personal interviews, questionnaires, and other selection processes.
17. Do you have some examples where people who had the opportunity to meet at your place later managed to develop successful partnerships or relationships?
– Yes, there are small projects that have grown here.
Also, we have exhibitions that have happened. Events that we have hosted just because some of the members came across.
This is even more possible if you stay longer. When you have these people for 6-9 months, there are more chances to have a bigger impact on the place where you are at.
It is not for people who are looking for a cheap place to stay and work, have fun, drink, meet other people, flirt, etc. Our colivers have a different mindset. They look for different things.
Definitely, what they look for, they can find here. They can also impact the local community through involvement in projects with town councils and other organizations nearby.
One of the interesting points of coming across different people and exchanging points of view is ending up exchanging projects and even sometimes co-funding businesses.
Secure yourself the best coliving experience
- italki – Why not learn some Spanish before your trip and make your coliving even better? italki is the perfect platform for that! You will find more than 3500 native speakers are waiting to help you with your Spanish.
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