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



Sensational south-facing villa with incomparable views for sale in the prestigious area of Sotogrande Alto Central, Sotogrande

Ref. TMXV1372

  • 8 beds
  • 8 baths
  • 1.214 m² built
  • 7.774 m² plot
  • 190 m² terrace

This spacious villa is located in the much sought after neighbourhood of Sotogrande Alto Central with far reaching views of the shimmering Mediterranean and San Roque Golf course. The epitome of simplistic...

4,500,000 €

Timeless luxury villa with expansive views and walking distance to the beach for sale in Reyes y Reinas, Sotogrande

Ref. TMXV1371

  • 8 beds
  • 7 baths
  • 620 m² built
  • 2.534 m² plot
  • 88 m² terrace

This grandiose property is in a desirable location bordering the national park of the River Guadiaro. The interior of the villa emulates a contemporary yet enduring style with comfort predominating while...

4,000,000 €

Fabulous Mediterranean style villa in a quiet and sought after residential area for sale in Sotogrande Alto, Cádiz

Ref. TMXV1348

  • 4 beds
  • 3 baths
  • 259 m² built
  • 1.266 m² plot
  • 31 m² terrace

Located in a well-established neighbourhood this stunning property combines rustic charm with an elegant design. Meticulously finished to the highest level of luxury the home melds character and style....

585,000 €
New
Development
Sotogrande, Superb brand new contemporary ground floor apartment in an oak forest for sale in Senda Chica, La Reserva, Sotogrande

Superb brand new contemporary ground floor apartment in an oak forest for sale in Senda Chica, La Reserva, Sotogrande

Ref. TMNA1320

  • 4 beds
  • 4 baths
  • 198 m² built
  • 40 m² terrace

This ambitious luxury residential development is set within a plot of 50.000 m2 in the centre of a beautiful cork and oak forest in La Reserva, Sotogrande. Named the "Garden House", there are only...

398,000 €
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Development
Sotogrande, Elegant brand new apartment in an oak forest for sale in Senda Chica, La Reserva, Sotogrande

Elegant brand new apartment in an oak forest for sale in Senda Chica, La Reserva, Sotogrande

Ref. TMNA1321

  • 4 beds
  • 4 baths
  • 200 m² built
  • 211 m² terrace

This ambitious luxury residential development is set within a plot of 50.000 m2 in the centre of a beautiful cork and oak forest in La Reserva, Sotogrande. Named the "Roof Garden", there are only 7...

398,000 €
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Development
Sotogrande, Upscale contemporary home for sale in La Reserva de Sotogrande, Sotogrande, Cádiz

Upscale contemporary home for sale in La Reserva de Sotogrande, Sotogrande, Cádiz

Ref. TMNT1305

  • 5 beds
  • 4 baths
  • 249 m² built
  • 119 m² terrace

Located in an exclusive residential complex next to La Cañada Golf Club in La Reserva de Sotogrande, this superb house has been uniquely designed to combine a contemporary aesthetic with maximum comfort....

612,000 €
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Sotogrande, Brand-new elegant contemporary home for sale in La Reserva de Sotogrande, Sotogrande, Cádiz

Brand-new elegant contemporary home for sale in La Reserva de Sotogrande, Sotogrande, Cádiz

Ref. TMNT1306

  • 4 beds
  • 3 baths
  • 234 m² built
  • 106 m² terrace

Located in an exclusive residential complex next to La Cañada Golf Club in La Reserva de Sotogrande, this superb house has been uniquely designed to combine a contemporary aesthetic with maximum comfort....

563,000 €
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Sotogrande, Luxury contemporary home for sale in La Reserva de Sotogrande, Sotogrande, Cádiz

Luxury contemporary home for sale in La Reserva de Sotogrande, Sotogrande, Cádiz

Ref. TMNT1307

  • 3 beds
  • 3 baths
  • 243 m² built
  • 78 m² terrace

Located in an exclusive residential complex next to La Cañada Golf Club in La Reserva de Sotogrande, this superb house has been uniquely designed to combine a contemporary aesthetic with maximum comfort....

429,000 €

Spacious and elegant villa for sale in Almenara, Sotogrande, Cádiz

Ref. TMXV1325

  • 5 beds
  • 5 baths
  • 696 m² built
  • 2.932 m² plot
  • 80 m² terrace

An ideal family home, this villa is located in the peaceful setting of Almenera in Sotogrande. The property has a rustic chic feel combined with a touch of luxury, the living room has high vaulted ceilings...

1,995,000 €

Fabulous front line apartment for sale in Sotogrande, Cádiz

Ref. TMXA1312

  • 4 beds
  • 4 baths
  • 218 m² built
  • 30 m² terrace

The apartment is uniquely located near the port of Sotogrande which is one of the most upscale developments in Spain and combines an array of fashionable restaurants, shops, world-class golf, first-rate and...

580,000 €