Sotogrande through the ages

An American dream that became reality in Andalusia, Spain

Sotogrande, SpainIn 1961 a certain Joseph McMicking received authorisation from Franco to purchase the area known today as Sotogrande, which included five traditional estates, to create a luxury residential complex with wide tree-lined avenues and a state of the art electrical infrastructure. As a measure of how undeveloped the general area was at the time, the N340 was years away from being built and the existing estates were linked to Gibraltar and Algeciras by a mere dirt track.

By design, Sotogrande, or the “large grove”, initially attracted wealthy foreigners who wanted a quiet and discreet experience enjoying golf, polo, and the natural surroundings. Franco’s closing of the border with Gibraltar in 1969 changed this, rendering access by foreigners far more difficult and heralding the arrival of the Spanish elite. More often madrileños than not, these original owners occupied many of the sumptuous villas that remain to this day in Sotogrande Costa.

Ke Restaurant, Sotogrande MarinaSotogrande S.A. eventually opened up the resort to a wider clientele, and the bridge was built over the Guadiaro as well as the first apartments on the river’s banks. In 1978, the celebrated bilingual International School opened. It eventually grew to over 600 students, having attracted not only Sotogrande residents but families from as far away as Marbella. The next major development was the Puerto Deportivo and surrounding apartments, which preceded the re-opening of the border with Gibraltar in 1985, the subsequent improvement of the road network, and the resulting public influx. The Sotogrande Yacht Club was built during this period. More facilities became available, including nightclubs and restaurants as well as shops such as those at Centro Commercial Sotogrande and Sotopaniagua, and bars such as the Cucurucho Beach Club and Cafetería KE.

Golf in Sotogrande was a major part of McMicking’s vision, and there are now nine courses in the Sotogrande perimeter and vicinity. The oldest courses are the Real Club de Golf de Sotogrande and the now word-famous Valderrama, both designed by Robert Trent Jones. Near Valderrama is the recently completed Club de Golf La Reserva de Sotogrande, which comprises two 18-hole courses designed by Cabell Robinson and Gary Player respectively. Last but not least among courses inside the resort is Club de Golf Almenara, by the hotel of the same name, designed by Dave Thomas and featuring stunning views to the sea and Gibraltar. Three important courses were also built adjacent to or very near Sotogrande: The San Roque Golf and Country Club, Alcaidesa Links, and La Cañada. All of these courses have acquired fame on their own, and Sotogrande S.A. is reportedly at work on another course.

Polo in SotograndePolo, the other luxury sport associated with Sotogrande, was introduced when the Santa María Polo Club was founded in 1965 at the beachside ground that remained in use for thirty years until the move was made to its present installations alongside the Guadiaro river. Hosting both national and international competitions every year, the club is well established on the World Polo circuit. Ponies continue to be bred and kept at the Equestrian Centre in Sotogrande Alto.

Sotogrande MarinaRecent years saw the construction of the new residential marina in Sotogrande, consisting of five islands topped by ultra-modern apartments featuring private docks and many other facilities. Today, the 2,000-hectares resort hosts a permanent population of about 6,000, increasing to about 20,000 each summer. Now owned by the NH Hotels group, Sotogrande S.A. always derived income from hotels, golf courses, and urban management activities. It expanded its remit some years ago to the development of leisure and tourism-related activities outside its traditional boundaries in locations such as the Dominican Republic, Italy, Mexico, and Valencia.


Eloise Horsfield | November, 2009

Stylish 4 bedroom duplex penthouse for sale in Valgrande, Sotogrande Alto

Ref. TMRA1332

  • 4 beds
  • 4 baths
  • 287 m² built
  • 148 m² terrace

This spacious contemporary attic is distributed over two floors and forms part of the prestigious development of Valgrande. With a lift into the main entrance hallway the property can be accessed directly...

860,000 €

4 bedroom river-front apartment for sale in Ribera del Rio, Sotogrande

Ref. TMRA1334

  • 4 beds
  • 4 baths
  • 219 m² built
  • 155 m² terrace

First floor luxury apartment with stunning country and sea views over the Guadiaro River, Gibraltar and Africa. This property boasts expansive covered and uncovered terraces, an ample outdoor dining area and...

950,000 €
Sotogrande, Luxury modern 3 bedroom apartment for sale in Sotogrande Playa, Cadiz

Luxury modern 3 bedroom apartment for sale in Sotogrande Playa, Cadiz

Ref. TMRA1331

  • 3 beds
  • 3 baths
  • 177 m² built
  • 104 m² terrace

A spacious modern apartment, luxuriously decorated and boasting open views across the communal gardens to the beach and the sea. Located in the desirable Sotogrande playa this modern apartment boasts many...

1,150,000 €
Sotogrande, Stunning 5 bedroom modern Villa with views to the sea, for sale in La Reserva de Sotogrande

Stunning 5 bedroom modern Villa with views to the sea, for sale in La Reserva de Sotogrande

Ref. TMRV1350

  • 5 beds
  • 5 baths
  • 1.139 m² built
  • 5.694 m² plot

This substantial villa measuring over 1000m2 is built over a double plot, located next to El Mirador in La Reserva and offers breathtaking views across the golfside to the coast. Views can be enjoyed from...

3,280,000 €

Frontline beach 4 bedroom apartment, with private pool, for sale in Sotogrande, Cadiz

Ref. TMRA1330

  • 4 beds
  • 4 baths
  • 225 m² built
  • 86 m² terrace

This immaculate south facing ground floor apartment boasts one of the best locations in Sotogrande, it´s private garden overlooks pretty communal grounds and out to the sea beyond. A spacious light...

1,285,000 €

Substantial 5 bedroom family villa with private putting green for sale in Sotogrande Costa, Cadiz

Ref. TMRV1347

  • 5 beds
  • 4 baths
  • 475 m² built
  • 3.956 m² plot
  • 110 m² terrace

A unique property spread over two plots, this large family villa is surrounded by substantial landscaped gardens, boasts a pretty an orangery, a private pool and putting green. Located in the sought after...

1,750,000 €

Stylish modern 4 bedroom villa for sale in los Altos de Valderrama, Sotogrande

Ref. TMRV1348

  • 4 beds
  • 4 baths
  • 746 m² built
  • 2.050 m² plot
  • 132 m² terrace

This elegant contemporary villa is distributed over three floors and well located minutes from the Valderrama golf course in Sotogrande. It´s seamless modern design offers large open rooms, maximizes natural...

1,775,000 €

Beautiful 6 bedroom Mediterranean villa for sale, near Valderrama golf course in Sotogrande Alto

Ref. TMRV1349

  • 6 beds
  • 5 baths
  • 1.087 m² built
  • 3.086 m² plot
  • 150 m² terrace

Impressive 6 bedroom family villa with commanding views across the neighboring golf course and down to the sea. Situated in Sotogrande Alto near the Almenara hotel and Valderrama golf course this...

3,200,000 €

Simply stunning 8 bedroom traditional villa for sale in Sotogrande Alto with private tennis court

Ref. TMRV1346

  • 8 beds
  • 9 baths
  • 1.516 m² built
  • 7.308 m² plot
  • 198 m² terrace

This beautiful and charming 8 bedroom property is surrounded by terraces and porches and sits in a large mature and very private garden. South facing it boasts a large pool with pretty gazebo and wooden...

6,250,000 €

Impressive 7 bedroom villa, front line golf, for sale in La Reserva, Sotogrande,

Ref. TMRV1345

  • 7 beds
  • 8 baths
  • 1.157 m² built
  • 3.958 m² plot
  • 200 m² terrace

This spacious seven bedroom villa is located on the front line of the golf course in La Reserva, Sotogrande. It sits in a privileged position, elevated on the hillside overlooking the golf and offers...

3,950,000 €