Sun, Golf and Chilling-Out in Sublime Sotogrande
It’s now official. Sotogrande is southern Spain’s “sweet spot”. At least that was how the authoritative The Wall Street Journal headlined a glowing feature about the ultra-exclusive residential estate at the western end of the Costa del Sol (and eastern extremities of Cádiz province).
According to the newspaper, “First developed in the mid-1960s, the luxury resort soon became a golf destination and a getaway for Madrid’s professional elite. Now, amid a surge in investment, the area is experiencing a new wave of international buyers seeking a steady supply of sunshine – including some who aren’t that interested in golf.”
Among those interviewed for the article was French national Jacques Mosseri-Marlio, who first spent summers in Sotogrande as a child. Speaking “from the edge of his infinity pool (with) great views of some of continental Europe’s finest golf courses, not to mention the Rock of Gibraltar and the North African coast”, he said the community was a refreshing change from “the glitz of Marbella,” a half-hour drive away. He and his wife’s combined family of five grown-up children, between the ages of 19 and 29, “are either keen golfers or they just chill by the pool.”
The newspaper noted that Sotogrande land prices reached a low-point in 2014, during the fallout from Spain’s economic crisis, but since then had re-bounded, thanks in part to a sizable infusion of cash. “In 2014, Cerberus Capital Management, an American private-equity firm, and Orion Capital Managers, based in London, purchased Sotogrande’s development company, including undeveloped property, hotels, the local water concession and golf courses, for $237 million. The new management team is planning infrastructure and amenities investments of about $54 million.”
The article also quoted Nick Faldo, who played on the winning European team in the historic Ryder Cup at Valderrama in 1997 and who once described Sotogrande autumns as “perfect golfing weather”. Nevertheless, said The Wall Street Journal, “increasingly, Sotogrande is attracting buyers with little interest in golf. They are part of a wider trend of non-golfers seeking the ‘security and protected views’ of a golf course setting, says Mark Harvey, head of European sales at Knight Frank.
“Sotogrande SA is planning to add new luxury villas in the resort’s La Reserva area… (and) other companies are investing as well. Last year, the owners of La Zagaleta, a luxury gated community in the mountains above Marbella, invested $43 million in the area, buying the Valderrama golf course and 544 acres (220 hectares) of land just outside Sotogrande proper, where they plan to build a new course and develop a gated community of high-end homes.”
Meanwhile, the area’s many non-golfing charms and attractions will be highlighted next week (24 to 28 May) with the inaugural Sotogrande Grand Prix. The first-ever Andalucian edition of the prestigious Zoute Grand Prix, the five-day event is scheduled to include exhibitions, rallies, and auctions of some of the world’s finest classic cars and premium marques from pre-1965 to today.
The organisers say the focus is on “flawless mechanics, exceptional workmanship and exemplary car models that demonstrate engineering brilliance from a bygone age through to the near future”. To that end, the programme includes a Concours D’Elegance; a showcase of new models and premieres; a three-day rally from Sevilla; a “Flying ¼ Mile” over the Guadiario bridge; and the Sotogrande GT Tour.
And for our featured home of the week… ultra-stylish living in La Hacienda del Valderrama in this stunning duplex home reduced in price from €1,150,000 to €770,00.
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