an American and a Catalan with a shared dream

The Orri is the fruit of a dream shared between two people: Arif, an American architect from Chicago, and Marta, a Catalan linguist from Sant Cugat del Vallès (Spain).

Before creating our lodge in the French Pyrenees, we lived in an old flat that we bought and renovated ourselves in Barcelona's gothic quarter. At the time, we were both free lance language teachers and translators, working for public administrations, universities, companies and individuals. We didn't have a car, so we commuted by bicycle, and to break the urban routine, we went in-line skating along the coast in the Barceloneta neighborhood, swimming at the municipal pool on the Montjuïc mountain and windsurfing on the Mediterranean sea. When we had more time, we went to the mountains, often to the Pyrenees, where we hiked, biked and skiied.

We lived and worked together for 10 years in the Barcelona. We both liked the city, but we always knew that we weren't really city people. Instead, we dreamed of moving to the Pyrenees, of living closer to nature and of being able to practice the outdoor sports we liked so much on a regular basis.
In 1996, we decided to start looking for a house that we would transform into a lodge. After more than a year, we came across the old farmhouse that would become the Orri. It took seven more years to design the project, obtain building permits, find a bank that would finance us, find the right artisans to do the work and finally, get the Orri built.

Now the creation process is history. Today, we live and work at the Orri in the privileged setting of the French Cerdagne. Over the years, we've gotten used to running our lodge: we've learned to cook, to manage reservations, to deal with suppliers and guests, to work with the various public administrations... But most of all, we have learned that rural tourism is a business that is based on people. When we decided to make our living by opening our door to the public, we never imagined how much this decision would oblige us to open our minds and our spirits.
Marta in action Caline and Marta
Arif slicing the Christmas turkey Arif shovelling the courtyard
Marta snowshoeing in the valley Marta and Caline look for the trail