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

Unique 5 bedroom contemporary Mexican style villa for sale in Sotogrande, spectacular golf and sea views

Ref. TMRV1353

  • 5 beds
  • 4 baths
  • 516 m² built
  • 4.351 m² plot
  • 55 m² terrace

Set on an elevated plot and boasting great golf and sea views, this modern Mexican villa is truly a unique find. Built with a traditional terracotta finish this contemporary home blends seamlessly with the...

2,900,000 €

Traditional Andalusian 5 bedroom villa for sale in Sotogrande,

Ref. TMRV1354

  • 5 beds
  • 4 baths
  • 347 m² built
  • 1.552 m² plot
  • 30 m² terrace

This elegant yet traditional villa is situated in the popular ´bajo´side of Sotogrande close to the beach, tennis clubs and the amenities in the Marina. With authentic Andalusian features and a luxurious...

1,285,000 €

Immaculate 5 bedroom ground floor duplex apartment for sale in Isla de La Pez Barbero, Sotogrande Marina, with harbour views

Ref. TMRA1336

  • 5 beds
  • 4 baths
  • 358 m² built
  • 32 m² terrace

This immaculate and spacious duplex is located in one of the best areas of the marina in Sotogrande and within walking distance to all amenities. The two storey apartment offers five good sized bedrooms,...

748,000 €

South facing 2 bedroom penthouse for sale in ´Ribera del Marlin´ with spectacular views across the Sotogrande Marina

Ref. TMRA1335

  • 2 beds
  • 2 baths
  • 114 m² built
  • 50 m² terrace

Part of a luxurious development on the front line of the port of Sotogrande, this contemporary penthouse apartment is ideally situated and offers open views across the marina to the Mediterranean sea. The...

495,000 €

Quiet and secluded 7 bedroom villa set amongst cork trees for sale, overlooking the Sotogrande Royal Golf Course

Ref. TMRV1351

  • 7 beds
  • 7 baths
  • 594 m² built
  • 3.423 m² plot

Truly a unique find hidden amongst cork trees in a secluded part of the south side of Sotogrande Costa, overlooking the 7th fairway of the golf course. This property boasts many original features in keeping...

3,850,000 €

Stunning 6 bedroom villa with sea and golf views for sale in Sotogrande,

Ref. TMRV1352

  • 6 beds
  • 7 baths
  • 1.186 m² built
  • 3.580 m² plot
  • 240 m² terrace

This large contemporary villa has been recently constructed with interiors designed by Patricia Darch. Set on a large flat plot it enjoys one of the best positions in Sotogrande Alto, walking distance to the...

3,595,000 €

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 €