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Showpiece Homes and Luxury Living… Polo Paradise

This is the time of the year when Sotogrande is transformed from a relatively sedate residential haven for people seeking a discreet luxury lifestyle to a vibrant hub of chic soirées and vibrant leisure activities. And the centrepiece of all the fun is the Santa María Polo Club and specifically, until the end of the month, the Land Rover International Polo Tournament. This year’s event – which is the sporting showpiece of an all-embracing social agenda at the polo club over summer, and is one of the world’s most prestigious polo tournaments – coincides with some significant developments off the field. The Santa María Polo Club recently received approval from the Junta de Andalucía (regional government) to move ahead with the first phase of a major sports-tourism project in Sotogrande. The plans include a high-end development, premium residential plots near the polo fields, a five-star hotel, a spa and health club, a clubhouse, tertiary trade areas (offices, shops and restaurants), a business centre, a fluvial park and 50,000 square metres of green areas; while an enlargement of Sotogrande marina is envisaged for the second phase. Overall, this ambitious project envisions the creation of an infrastructure for a future “macro equestrian and polo resort (in a countrified way)”, as well as an “equine district” in the Valle del Guadiaro area. In the meantime, this weekend the Valle del Guadiario’s rustic charm will be on display for residents in the area and visitors alike when the village of Torreguadiaro hosts a Tapas Fair. Organised by the women’s association La Charca, in conjunction with San Roque Town Hall, the fair will showcase traditional local cuisine from 9pm on Saturday 8 August. Back in Sotogrande, on Wednesday 12 August, the inaugural Festival Dog Show will be held at the marina, starting at 9pm in the cool of the evening. The schedule will include an entertaining competition to choose the largest, smallest, youngest, oldest, fittest, most obedient and hairiest dogs – as well as the biggest canine family. In addition there will be children’s activities, and experts on hand to offer advice on weight control and improving pets’ environments. Meanwhile, the action continues at Santa María Polo Club until the first week of September, where international celebrities rub shoulders with the crème de la crème of Spanish society in a two-month long extravaganza of polo and parties. Beginning at the start of July, the full polo season culminates with the Land Rover International Tournament, now celebrating its 44th edition and a premier event on the World Polo Tour. The world’s top polo star, Adolfo Cambiaso, is among a total of 140 players taking part in several different-category events (up to the grand finale, the Bulgari Gold Cup) held over 35 days of top competition, bringing with them 1,400 polo ponies. While the pulsating polo action (on nine fields) is the main draw at Santa María Club, the ambience around the fields is just as alluring – and frenetic! The “during” and “after” polo festivities include a lounge, bar and discotheque, food trucks “for gastro-hunters”, an eco cuisine restaurant, a beauty centre and children’s activities area, a varied programme of exhibitions, and a shopping village offering 40 retail brands. Many visitors, of course, will be so impressed with the whole sophisticated atmosphere and breath-taking setting that they will be encouraged to look for a new home to make a more permanent move to Sotogrande. Polo 1Here we feature two properties that highlight the wonderfully diverse real estate options available in the area: a frontline golf villa located in a quiet cul-de- sac close to the prestigious five-star Almenara Hotel and international school; and a three-bedroom apartment overlooking the harbour, in a well-maintained community with gardens and swimming pools. Special Selections We appreciate your taking the time to read about these two exceptional properties, but perhaps they are not exactly right for you? If not, we invite you to have a look at our other special selections for: La Zagaleta, Luxury Villas, Golf Properties, Seafront Properties, Apartments and Special Offers. Click on the category of your choice and follow the link. Also please feel free to roam around our website: www.villamarbellanow.com. (Photos: Santa María Polo Club)