Baltasar Ibán Valdés
Hotel Wellington, Calle de Velázquez 8, Madrid, Spain
Baltasar was a man with his fingers in different pies. He started with nothing but made a fortune in the Spanish Civil War as a transport entrepreneur. In 1952, he moved into the hospitality industry when he opened the smart Hotel Wellington in Madrid’s Salamanca district. But Baltasar’s real love was the Bull Fight. The highly-stylised baiting and goading, and eventual killing, of a scared and confused boy cow appealed to him a great deal. For some reason. So as well as the transport and the hotel entrepreneuring, Baltasar also raised cattle. He even bred a brand new fighting-breed of cow. And after his death in 1976, the breed was named after him. But there was some overlapping in Baltasar’s different business interests. As soon as he opened the Wellington, it became the favourite hotel of the champion, the superstar, the illustrious bull-fighter, Curro Romero. And in the decades since then, it’s been the preferred haunt for bull-fighters from all over the country.