Guide to Sotogrande
| 19th Feb
It can be a little difficult to define Sotogrande, the exclusive resort on the western edge of the Costa del Sol. Is it a town, a holiday resort or something in-between? In reality it is a little of all of these, as the private country club established by Colonel McMicking and his wife Mercedes Zobel in 1962 has since become a living community that is also recognised as one of the most luxurious resort destinations in Spain.
The McMicking’s weren’t the first or the last to fall in love with this beautiful spot close to the point where the Mediterranean and Atlantic meet – half an hour from Marbella and 20 minutes from Gibraltar. Here, between sandy beaches, the Guadiaro River and the gentle green undulations of what has since become known as Sotogrande Alto (Upper Sotogrande), they created a beautiful master-planned country club resort that stands out for the quality of its streets, gardens and public areas. Sotogrande is also unique in that the emphasis has always been more on private residences rather than conventional tourism and hotels, and it shows in the quality of the resort.
High-end tourism and residential destination
A very high-end destination from the outset, Sotogrande centred upon a genteel country club lifestyle in a spectacular beachside location. In addition to those who did – and still do – use their Sotogrande properties as summer vacation homes, a growing number of people began to retire and eventually also work and raise families here, creating a community that is cosmopolitan, with Spanish, British, Northern European and global elements.
Joined by a preference for the gentle way of life and understated class of Sotogrande, they have helped to create the growing village within the five-star country club resort, complete with an outstanding international college (the Sotogrande International School), commercial and shopping areas, community organisations and a lively social scene. The four luxury hotels within the area include the elegant boutique hotel, Club Marítimo de Sotogrande, located within the iconic marina, the classic retro-modern NH Sotogrande Hotel, the Almenara Golf Resort and the San Roque Hotel. In the last two, luxury spas, fine dining, conferencing and of course golf come together in a series of wonderful settings.
The stylishly charming marina of Sotogrande is far more than a yacht harbour alone, though its facilities and active yacht club rank it among the finest sailing institutions in Spain, with yacht maintenance, coaching, regattas and a host of activities and support services available. The 548 moorings in this ‘Venice of Andalucía’ include not only the marina itself, but can be found lining the lawns of luxury apartment complexes that dot the manmade canals in distinctive pastel colours. The marina area is the social hub of Sotogrande and where you will find elegant shops, boutiques, restaurants, cafés, ship chandlers and also one of the most refined markets in this part of Spain – the Mercado Del Levante.
The three sports for which Sotogrande has become internationally renowned – yachting, golf and equestrian pursuits – say much about the nature of this exclusive country club resort. The charm of the original Sotogrande Hipica equestrian centre has remained undiminished as its facilities grew. Many of the residents keep their horses here or enjoy excursions into the beautiful surrounding countryside, while the magnificent surroundings of the renowned Santa María Polo Club are the scene of many of the world’s leading summer season championship events. It’s a time of elegance and laid-back refinement that draws even royalty to the hallowed polo grounds, though the nearby stabling centre is also a top-notch facility.
If the Costa del Sol is the ‘Costa del Golf’, then Sotogrande is the jewel in its crown, with the Real Club Valderrama and the Real Club de Golf Sotogrande among the finest courses in Europe. Valderrama was famously the host of the now legendary 1997 Ryder Cup, and is known for its almost perfectly maintained fairways, but in Sotogrande you can also opt for the beautiful La Reserva de Sotogrande, the Almenara Golf Club, Club de Golf La Cañada and the San Roque Golf Club – each and every one a superlative golf club with superb course and clubhouse facilities.
Real Estate in Sotogrande
The main residential areas in Sotogrande include the elegant apartments and penthouses surrounding the marina, close to the area’s famous sandy shores and beach clubs, the apartments and villas near the polo club, and the luxurious ‘Kings and Queens’ villa suburb set between the river, the beach and the Real Club de Golf Sotogrande. Together they make up the seaside part of the resort, with Sotogrande Alta dominated by the luxury villas, apartments and townhouses of the Almenara, Valderrama and La Reserva areas. Though set a little further to the west, the San Roque country club can be added to the area, creating a very diverse range of settings, properties and lifestyle opportunities to choose from. Increasingly, Sotogrande is seen as a gentler, more refined alternative to Marbella.
Gilmar has a broad range of properties for sale in Sotogrande, please contact us to discuss your requirements.