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

Beautiful modern 6 bedroom villa for sale in Sotogrande Alto, with private pool, garage for 10 cars and sea views

Ref. TMXV136

  • 8 beds
  • 6 baths
  • 1.851 m² built
  • 4.956 m² plot
  • 350 m² terrace

A truly large family villa set in immaculate manicured gardens and built to the highest quality standards. This impressive three storey property boasts a privileged elevated position with a southerly...

4,450,000 €

Spacious 3 bedroom penthouse in popular El Polo urbanization, Sotogrande Costa, walking distance to amenities

Ref. TMXA1336

  • 3 beds
  • 2 baths
  • 272 m² built
  • 129 m² terrace

El Polo de Sotogrande is one of the most popular family developments within Sotogrande´s private estate. Offering a desirable location on the beach side of the estate, it is walking distance to the amenities...

559,000 €

Large family villa for sale in Sotogrande Alto with private pool and panoramic views

Ref. TMRV1339

  • 5 beds
  • 4 baths
  • 504 m² built
  • 6.010 m² plot

This large family residence is well located in Sotogrande Alto on a spacious flat plot with spectacular views. Sotogrande is a highly desirable private estate that offers unrivaled facilities; sailing from...

1,900,000 €

South facing semi-detached villa in Sotogrande Costa with communal indoor and outdoor pools, sauna, paddle and tennis courts

Ref. TMXT1308

  • 5 beds
  • 4 baths
  • 501 m² plot
  • 80 m² terrace

An immaculately presented south facing semi-detached property in the highly sought after community of Los Granados. Boasting one of the best locations in Sotogrande Costa, the house offers walking access to...

765,000 €

Pretty Andalusian 5 bedroom villa for sale next to the Almenara Golf Course, Sotogrande with private pool and sea views

Ref. TMXV1353

  • 5 beds
  • 3 baths
  • 414 m² built
  • 2.036 m² plot
  • 63 m² terrace

As solid family home set on a large plot with landscaped gardens in Sotogrande Alto, this property has impressive views across the Almenara Golf Course and the sea. Well orientated it receives sun...

1,195,000 €
Sotogrande, Immaculate ground floor 3 bedroom front line beach apartment for sale in Sotogrande Playa, south facing with spectacular views

Immaculate ground floor 3 bedroom front line beach apartment for sale in Sotogrande Playa, south facing with spectacular views

Ref. TMXA1335

  • 3 beds
  • 3 baths
  • 354 m² built
  • 144 m² terrace

A rare opportunity to pick up an apartment in this prestigious block overlooking the beach in Sotogrande. This apartment has been recently renovated and is sold fully furnished by an interior designer to the...

1,450,000 €

Frontline golf plot of 3450 m2 with outline planning permissions for sale in Almenara, Sotogrande

Ref. TMXP1315

  • 3.450 m² plot

A well located plot bordering the Almenara Golf Course in Sotogrande with views of the lake. The building plot has full outline planning permission to construct a detached single family property. Includes...

759,000 €

Beautiful south west facing 3 bed penthouse for sale in Sotogrande Puerto Deportivo with sea views

Ref. TMXA1343

  • 3 beds
  • 3 baths
  • 89 m² terrace

An immaculately presented penthouse apartment ideally located in the heart of the marina in Sotogrande, walking distance to bars, restaurants and the beach. The apartment has two terraces that offer...

825,000 €

Plot for sale with panoramic views near Sotogrande

Ref. TMP1303

  • 1.245 m² plot

Well situated plot in the residential community of San Diego, a quiet area located between Estepona and Sotogrande. Sitting above the main coastal road the plot offers elevated views of the Mediterranean...

225,000 €
Sotogrande, Plot for sale in La Reserva, Sotogrande with project for 6 bedroom luxury villa with garage, private pool and sea views

Plot for sale in La Reserva, Sotogrande with project for 6 bedroom luxury villa with garage, private pool and sea views

Ref. TMXP1301

  • 6 beds
  • 6 baths
  • 803 m² built
  • 2.393 m² plot
  • 352 m² terrace

A well located plot for sale in La Reserva Sotogrande, with views down the hillside to the Mediterranean sea below. The price of the plot includes the land, building licence and the proposed project plans....

800,000 €