The Spanish giants outclassed the Championship newcomers in front of a crowd of more than 11,000 at Dean Court with Cristiano Ronaldo netting the opening two goals.
"The feeling after was disappointment," Howe said. "No one wants to get beaten and no one wants to lose. It is a horrible feeling no matter who you lose to. We are not downhearted but we are disappointed.
"From our perspective we knew it was going to very difficult and we didn't want to change anything too much so we could test our players with our style of football.
"For the first 20/25 minutes we took the game to them until the first goal, it was a great experience for our lads.
"The club has been through so much in recent years - these are good days for the club.
"Hopefully everyone enjoyed today and enjoys this year as it is not often the club has played at this level. It is not every day you get to see Ronaldo at Dean Court."