Sotogrande is a discreet, enigmatic and leafy enclave for people seeking exclusivity, privacy and facilities well away from the throngs of busier resorts.
Sotogrande is the biggest privately owned residential development in Andalusia. This highly sought after urbanisation has some of the most expensive homes in Europe. It has attracted owners and visitors from the world stage, including royalty, world leaders, politicians and international artists. Its success is down to the modern, boundary-pushing architecture, high specification facilities and sense of privacy.
Based at the foothills of the Sierra Almenara mountains and surrounded by cork forests, it occupies 20 square kilometres of coastal land. There are several artificial lakes, one of which is a man made beach with a private beach club. Other beaches include Sotogrande Port Beach, Torreguadiaro Beach, Alcaidesa Beaches and Cala Sardinia Beach.
Founded in the early 1960’s by Joseph Rafael McMicking y Ynchausti and Mercedes Zobel de Ayala y Roxas, Sotogrande began with the purchase of five adjoining farmsteads. There the couples’ nephews Jaime and Enrique Zobel built the first houses in, what was then, a gated community.
There are 5 golf courses, including the Valderrama Golf Club, designed by Jaime Ortiz-Patiño and host to the 1997 Ryder Cup and the European Tour Volvo Masters. The busy marina is home to a sailing club, shops and restaurants. There are 6 polo fields, 2 tennis clubs, paddle courts, a riding stables, yoga, kayaking, windsurfing in addition to jet skiing lessons, hoverboards, electric bikes, paddleboards, longboards, Segways and scooters are available for rent and sale. Nearby excursions include the Alcornocales Natural Park, the rock of Gibraltar and Marbella is only a 30 minute drive.
This once gated community is now open for visitors, with a few hotels built around the main estate. However, it still attracts people who prefer to live in private tranquillity. The year-round population are an international crowd made mostly of professional northern Europeans and affluent families.
Sophisticated apartments and colourful townhouses mix with enormous luxury villas. The resort is made up of four main neighbourhoods – La Reserva de Sotogrande, Sotogrande Costa, Sotogrande Marina and Sotogrande Alto.
Pueblo Nuevo de Guadiaro is the main area for shops and restaurants but Torreguadiaro also offers a bustling centre. A concierge service exists to furnish residents with anything they might need including butlers, domestic staff, personal shoppers, drivers, personal trainers and private security. The pharmacy can be found in Plaza Blanca.
The concierge service offers support to those arriving by private jet or yacht. International flights will get you into Gibraltar International or Malaga Airport. Once you’ve arrived there are several private car hire firms.
Sotogrande, although aimed at the globally affluent, isn’t considered as flashy as nearby Marbella. Although house prices and amenities are highly priced, eating well is relatively inexpensive.