Dutch entrepreneur in Extremadura wins the Spanish Prize

Ceres – Dutchman Hermann Rienstra and his Brazilian wife Carla, owners of the El Baciyelmo Hotel In Trujillo, he was named “Entrepreneur of the Year” at the “Red Empresarial Cáceres” entrepreneurship network annual gala. They won the best company award in the tourism sector this year. They have been commended for their tireless efforts to please their guests. Despite the pandemic, they have continued to invest in updating and improving their studios. The Spanish glossy magazine ESPANJE! Entrepreneurs already visited in 2016 and then they toured the beautiful city of Trujillo together.

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During this annual gala of the province of Cáceres, prizes are given out in 19 different sectors such as industry, services, tourism, agriculture, etc. To qualify, a company must have been operating in a stable, successful, and innovative manner for a few years. Earlier this year, the owners were awarded Entrepreneur of the Year 2021 by Trujillo Entrepreneurs Association, ASEMTRU.

Seventeen years ago, Hermann Rienstra decided to take the plunge. He has been living in Cadiz for some time and his work as a designer can be perfectly combined with a stay in the southern sun. Rienstra: “Many of my Dutch clients didn’t realize I wasn’t in the Netherlands.” He wanted to buy something with Karla, but Cádiz was too expensive. That’s how he ended up in Trujillo, four hours north, a city of fewer than 10,000 in the heart of Extremadura, about the same size as Holland but with a population of just 1.1 million. They christened their studio hotel Basilmo Referring to a story from Don Quijote, she points out that nothing is what it seems. Because when you stand outside you will not suspect that there are luxury apartments behind the facade with a swimming pool and garden where birds are busy chirping.

Trujillo tour

In 2016, the editors of ESPANJE! for a report in Trujillo and showed Hermann his city. For starters, the Plaza Mayor, which has a strange asymmetrical shape. The plaza is dominated by a giant equestrian statue erected for the city’s hero Francisco Pizarro, conqueror of the Inca Empire and founder of the city of Lima. According to Herrmann, “In fact, it could not have been Bizarro at all.” “A knight who rides his horse fearlessly will not wear the right helmet or armor, but will also sit on a hard-headed horse.”

In any case, Pizarro brought great wealth to poverty-stricken Extremadura. He and his family built great palaces. One is in the Plaza Mayor and is still owned by Pizarro’s descendants. ‘When there’s a family celebration, the house is all decked out and polished,’ says Hermann, ‘but otherwise they let it fall apart. Shame because you could turn it into a nice museum.

There is no shortage of museums around Pesaro and Conquista in Trujillo. You can visit his birth home and a brand new exhibit hall behind the Plaza Mayor. But when we walk in, they are closed and not all of them have consistent opening hours. “Abierto mañana y tarde” reads a museum sign.

Kissing corner

The walk continues to the original Roman fort and then the Moorish one that towers over the city. From there you can enjoy a wonderful view of the surroundings. “In clear weather, you can even see the snow-capped peaks of the Sierra de Gredos, more than eighty kilometers away,” says Hermann. All around the city are walls and paths. “The rubbish runs here,” Hermann knows, “paths that shepherds used to go north in the summer to graze their cattle. Tourists can now use parts of the paths for a walk. There is also a nice path around town.

After Marching the City, Hermann took over as Editors-in-Chief of ESPANJE! To the “7 de Sillerias” restaurant of a Spanish friend he made in town. Paco does it all with a big platter of wonderful, freshly cut Jamón Ibérico de Bellota and other local specialities. On the ride back to the hotel, Hermann points out a broken lantern: ‘The young men did it because they wanted a dark corner for kissing. Not allowed at home. Still conservative here.

Cookies from the nuns

The next day before departure, a small tour of the city takes place. This is how the Parador is visited, a beautiful hotel housed in the 16th century Santa Clara Convent. The patio is a great place for a cup of coffee, but our editors like to sleep at the Herman Hotel, with a 9.8 on Booking.com, undisputed the best hotel in town.

Returning to El Baciyelmo, you pass a convent where cookies can be purchased from the nuns through a slot. The doorbell rings and a voice answers. After a moment, a door opened and a little old nun came out, reaching just above the navel. She says they run the convent with four old Spanish nuns and six young Kenyan women who make sure the biscuits are baked fresh every day. Shows all the cookies and embroidery made by the nuns. Almond shavings are purchased and the ESPANJE Editors! You will receive a large bag of confetti from them for free. After saying goodbye to Hermann and Carla, the course is set in the south. To other adventurers starting a new life in Spain.

Spain! Travel and Culture Magazine is the glossy Dutch-language magazine about Spain and the Spanish-speaking world that appears four times a year in the Netherlands and Belgium. Spain! It is a quality newspaper magazine with inspiring travel reports, beautiful interviews, great columns, delicious recipes and hundreds of tips for Spain fans. You can read more information on the website espanje.nl

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