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

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 €

Modern Villa for Sale by Architect Joaquin Torres in San Enrique de Guadiaro, Sotogrande

Ref. TMRV1336

  • 4 beds
  • 5 baths
  • 371 m² built
  • 374 m² plot
  • 84 m² terrace

This luxurious villa is part of a modern complex, Polo Sur, designed by the famous modern architect Joaquin Torres. The ground floor comprises a double height living room with a fireplace and large double...

785,000 €

Large building plot, close to the Hotel Almenara, Sotogrande Alto

Ref. TMRP1304

  • 2.872 m² plot

This project is located near to the four-star Hotel Almenara in Sotogrande Alto, a short drive from the beach and local amenities. The project has been developed on a plot of 2872m2 for a luxury contemporary...

3,500,000 €

Large building plot, with villa project, front-line golf and sea views, Almenara Golf, Sotogrande

Ref. TMRP1303

  • 3.252 m² plot

This sizeable building plot offers excellent front-line views over the Almenara Golf course and down to the Mediterranean, with access to a quiet street the south and the course directly to the north. A...

895,000 €

Plot with panoramic views near Sotogrande

Ref. TMRP1301

  • 1.379 m² plot

This plot has fantastic views to the sea and Gibraltar and is located in the residential area of San Diego, near a beautiful beach and Sotogrande.

220,640 €

Plot overlooking the sea next to Sotogrande

Ref. TMRP1302

  • 1.263 m² plot

This plot has fantastic views to the sea and Gibraltar and is located in the residential area of San Diego, near a beautiful beach and Sotogrande. Includes project and building license.

151,560 €

Brand-new, stunning contemporary mansion project, with indoor and outdoor pools, in Sotogrande

Ref. TMNV1334

  • 2.576 m² built
  • 8.954 m² plot

This is a new-build project for an ultra-modern, fully-furnished, luxury villa in one of the best areas of the luxurious Sotogrande urbanisation. With a total of more than 2,500m2 built, standing on a...

6,500,000 €

Luxury frontline golf villa, Sotogrande

Ref. TMRV1333

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

This top quality frontline golf villa is situated in the sought after area of Sotogrande, in La Reserva, only 2 minutes from Sotogrande International school and 10 minutes from the Marina. This south facing...

4,995,000 €

Private 3 bedroom villa in prestigious golf development, Valderrama, Sotogrande

Ref. TMRV1332

  • 3 beds
  • 2 baths
  • 236 m² built
  • 1.203 m² plot
  • 42 m² terrace

This delightful 3 bedroom villa is situated in Valderrama, one of southern Spain’s most prestigious golf developments. As expected in such a prestigious location, the property is finished to a very high...

695,000 € Reduced from 749,000 €

Spacious villa in extensive gardens situated 2 minutes from Valderrama, Sotogrande (south)

Ref. TMRV1329

  • 5 beds
  • 4 baths
  • 347 m² built
  • 1.520 m² plot

Situated just a few minutes’ drive from Valderrama golf club and set within a mature landscaped garden, tiered garden complete with a private swimming pool, this is delightful property occupies an elevated...

685,000 €