Sotogrande

Sotogrande

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Sotogrande is the largest resort
Resort
A resort is a place used for relaxation or recreation, attracting visitors for holidays or vacations. Resorts are places, towns or sometimes commercial establishment operated by a single company....

 and privately owned residential development in Andalusia
Andalusia
Andalusia is the most populous and the second largest in area of the autonomous communities of Spain. The Andalusian autonomous community is officially recognised as a nationality of Spain. The territory is divided into eight provinces: Huelva, Seville, Cádiz, Córdoba, Málaga, Jaén, Granada and...

. A large part of the resort is administered by NH Hotels and it is considered part of the NH World. It is located in the municipality of San Roque, Cádiz, Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

, southern Europe
Southern Europe
The term Southern Europe, at its most general definition, is used to mean "all countries in the south of Europe". However, the concept, at different times, has had different meanings, providing additional political, linguistic and cultural context to the definition in addition to the typical...

 and is composed of a 20 square kilometres (8 sq mi) stretch from the Mediterranean Sea
Mediterranean Sea
The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean surrounded by the Mediterranean region and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Anatolia and Europe, on the south by North Africa, and on the east by the Levant...

 25 km east of Gibraltar
Gibraltar
Gibraltar is a British overseas territory located on the southern end of the Iberian Peninsula at the entrance of the Mediterranean. A peninsula with an area of , it has a northern border with Andalusia, Spain. The Rock of Gibraltar is the major landmark of the region...

, back into the foothills of Sierra Almenara, providing contrasting views of sea
Sea
A sea generally refers to a large body of salt water, but the term is used in other contexts as well. Most commonly, it means a large expanse of saline water connected with an ocean, and is commonly used as a synonym for ocean...

, hill
Hill
A hill is a landform that extends above the surrounding terrain. Hills often have a distinct summit, although in areas with scarp/dip topography a hill may refer to a particular section of flat terrain without a massive summit A hill is a landform that extends above the surrounding terrain. Hills...

s, cork
Cork Oak
Quercus suber, commonly called the Cork Oak, is a medium-sized, evergreen oak tree in the section Quercus sect. Cerris. It is the primary source of cork for wine bottle stoppers and other uses, such as cork flooring. It is native to southwest Europe and northwest Africa.It grows to up to 20 m,...

 forest
Forest
A forest, also referred to as a wood or the woods, is an area with a high density of trees. As with cities, depending where you are in the world, what is considered a forest may vary significantly in size and have various classification according to how and what of the forest is composed...

s and green fairways, including the Rock of Gibraltar
Rock of Gibraltar
The Rock of Gibraltar is a monolithic limestone promontory located in Gibraltar, off the southwestern tip of Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. It is high...

 and Morocco
Morocco
Morocco , officially the Kingdom of Morocco , is a country located in North Africa. It has a population of more than 32 million and an area of 710,850 km², and also primarily administers the disputed region of the Western Sahara...

.

Regulars and inhabitants of Sotogrande include Peter Caruana
Peter Caruana
Peter Richard Caruana, QC is a Gibraltarian politician, and has been Chief Minister of Gibraltar since 1996, when his party, the Gibraltar Social Democrats , first came to power. His party was re-elected to office in 2000, 2003 and 2007...

, Chief Minister of Gibraltar
Gibraltar
Gibraltar is a British overseas territory located on the southern end of the Iberian Peninsula at the entrance of the Mediterranean. A peninsula with an area of , it has a northern border with Andalusia, Spain. The Rock of Gibraltar is the major landmark of the region...

, Tony Blair, John Medina, Juan Loyasa, Sandro Rottman with his fiancée Rosa Garcia , Antonio A. Camerena, Doro Plana, Emilio Botín, Ana Rosa Quintana, Royal Shakespeare Company actor Mike Gwilym
Mike Gwilym
-Early life:Born in Neath, Gwilym is the brother of actor Robert Gwilym, son of Arthur Aubrey Remington Gwilym and Renée Mathilde Eugénie Léonce Dupont. His parents were the proprietors of a women's clothing chain in Wales. Mike's Belgian maternal grandfather was the oil industrialist Edmond Jules...

, and HRH Prince Louis Alphonse of Bourbon, the legitimist pretender to the throne of France.

History


Sotogrande was established by the generous couple Joseph Rafael McMicking e Ynchausti and Mercedes Zobel de Ayala y Roxas, both Filipino
Filipino people
The Filipino people or Filipinos are an Austronesian ethnic group native to the islands of the Philippines. There are about 92 million Filipinos in the Philippines, and about 11 million living outside the Philippines ....

s of American and Spanish descent, respectively.

The Zobels, having seen the idyllic coasts in 1962, bought five neighbouring farms, with the idea of creating a luxurious residential development by the Mediterranean. MacMicking succeeded in creating what has become one of the most luxurious urbanizations in Europe, in May 2006 it was featured in The Times
The Times
The Times is a British daily national newspaper, first published in London in 1785 under the title The Daily Universal Register . The Times and its sister paper The Sunday Times are published by Times Newspapers Limited, a subsidiary since 1981 of News International...

as having the most expensive homes in Europe. The jet set appeal of Sotogrande lies in the natural beauty of the site, enhanced by the early landscaping
Landscaping
Landscaping refers to any activity that modifies the visible features of an area of land, including:# living elements, such as flora or fauna; or what is commonly referred to as gardening, the art and craft of growing plants with a goal of creating a beautiful environment within the landscape.#...

, planting of avenues of palm
Arecaceae
Arecaceae or Palmae , are a family of flowering plants, the only family in the monocot order Arecales. There are roughly 202 currently known genera with around 2600 species, most of which are restricted to tropical, subtropical, and warm temperate climates...

 and conifer trees, underground infrastructure and wide, two-lane roads. There are a number of artificial lakes and 5 golf courses, including the world-famous Valderrama
Valderrama Golf Club
The Valderrama Golf Club is one of the best known golf clubs in Europe. It is located in the resort of Sotogrande, San Roque in the Andalusia region of Southern Spain, a few miles from Gibraltar, and has a single 18 hole course, along with a 9 hole par 3 course.Valderrama was constructed in 1974...

, created by Jaime Ortiz-Patiño and the San Roque course.

Architecture


Sotogrande is well known as an architectural showcase on the Costa del Sol, with styles varying from the traditional Andalucian to mid century modern, all the way through 21st century design and even more unusual designs, including moorish/mudejar style homes and even a Swiss chalet. In 2008 the local government declared three buildings as of cultural interest, protecting them from reform or demolition. These architectural gems were the Biddle House, by Francisco Javier Carvajal, the Zóbel house by José Antonio Coderch
Josep Antoni Coderch
Josep Antoni Coderch i de Sentmenat was the most important post-World War II Catalan architect.-Early life and career:...

, and the Real Club de Golf by Luis Gutierrez Soto.

Sport


Today, Sotogrande is renowned for its varied sporting facilities. It has five golf
Golf
Golf is a precision club and ball sport, in which competing players use many types of clubs to hit balls into a series of holes on a golf course using the fewest number of strokes....

 courses in Europe, Valderrama Golf Club
Valderrama Golf Club
The Valderrama Golf Club is one of the best known golf clubs in Europe. It is located in the resort of Sotogrande, San Roque in the Andalusia region of Southern Spain, a few miles from Gibraltar, and has a single 18 hole course, along with a 9 hole par 3 course.Valderrama was constructed in 1974...

 host to the European Tour's Volvo Masters
Volvo Masters
The Volvo Masters was the concluding official money event of the European Tour season until 2009, when it was replaced by the Dubai World Championship...

 and the 1997 Ryder Cup
Ryder Cup
The Ryder Cup is a biennial golf competition between teams from Europe and the United States. The competition is jointly administered by the PGA of America and the PGA European Tour, and is contested every two years, the venue alternating between courses in the United States and Europe...

, the Club Real de Golf, Almenara, La Reserva, La Cañada and a Golf Academy; two world famous Polo
Polo
Polo is a team sport played on horseback in which the objective is to score goals against an opposing team. Sometimes called, "The Sport of Kings", it was highly popularized by the British. Players score by driving a small white plastic or wooden ball into the opposing team's goal using a...

 fields owned by the Santa María Polo Club; two Tennis
Tennis
Tennis is a sport usually played between two players or between two teams of two players each . Each player uses a racket that is strung to strike a hollow rubber ball covered with felt over a net into the opponent's court. Tennis is an Olympic sport and is played at all levels of society at all...

 and Padel Tennis
Padel Tennis
Padel tennis is a racquet sport played extensively in Spain and Latin America.Padel is typically played in doubles on an enclosed court about half the size of a tennis court...

 Clubs; the Raquet Centre which specializes in padel tennis and the Octogano which specializes in tennis; two Beach Clubs (Cucurucho,Octogano); a Kayak
Kayak
A kayak is a small, relatively narrow, human-powered boat primarily designed to be manually propelled by means of a double blade paddle.The traditional kayak has a covered deck and one or more cockpits, each seating one paddler...

 / Sailing
Sailing
Sailing is the propulsion of a vehicle and the control of its movement with large foils called sails. By changing the rigging, rudder, and sometimes the keel or centre board, a sailor manages the force of the wind on the sails in order to move the boat relative to its surrounding medium and...

 Club, Riding
Equestrianism
Equestrianism more often known as riding, horseback riding or horse riding refers to the skill of riding, driving, or vaulting with horses...

 stable
Stable
A stable is a building in which livestock, especially horses, are kept. It most commonly means a building that is divided into separate stalls for individual animals...

s and a busy marina
Marina
A marina is a dock or basin with moorings and supplies for yachts and small boats.A marina differs from a port in that a marina does not handle large passenger ships or cargo from freighters....

 where in the center you will find "the" place in Sotogrande, the Cafe KE, the first on entering the Mediterranean.

Nature


River Guadiaro
Guadiaro
The Guadiaro is a river in the Spanish provinces of Cádiz and Málaga in the autonomous community of Andalusia, Spain. It flows southward from the Sierra Bermeja through the Sierra de Grazalema and discharges into the Mediterranean at Sotogrande. The river is notable for having some of the only...

 and Estuary
Estuary
An estuary is a partly enclosed coastal body of water with one or more rivers or streams flowing into it, and with a free connection to the open sea....

, Sotogrande, a natural area of 27 hectares and the only marsh
Marsh
In geography, a marsh, or morass, is a type of wetland that is subject to frequent or continuous flood. Typically the water is shallow and features grasses, rushes, reeds, typhas, sedges, other herbaceous plants, and moss....

land on this part of the coast
Coast
A coastline or seashore is the area where land meets the sea or ocean. A precise line that can be called a coastline cannot be determined due to the dynamic nature of tides. The term "coastal zone" can be used instead, which is a spatial zone where interaction of the sea and land processes occurs...

, has been designated as an Andalusian National Park
National park
A national park is a reserve of natural, semi-natural, or developed land that a sovereign state declares or owns. Although individual nations designate their own national parks differently A national park is a reserve of natural, semi-natural, or developed land that a sovereign state declares or...

, Wildlife
Wildlife
Wildlife includes all non-domesticated plants, animals and other organisms. Domesticating wild plant and animal species for human benefit has occurred many times all over the planet, and has a major impact on the environment, both positive and negative....

 and Nature Reserve
Nature reserve
A nature reserve is a protected area of importance for wildlife, flora, fauna or features of geological or other special interest, which is reserved and managed for conservation and to provide special opportunities for study or research...

. A series of pathways has been constructed, with information boards explaining the natural area, enabling nature
Nature
Nature, in the broadest sense, is equivalent to the natural world, physical world, or material world. "Nature" refers to the phenomena of the physical world, and also to life in general...

 lovers unobstructed views of the estuary, its wildlife
Wildlife
Wildlife includes all non-domesticated plants, animals and other organisms. Domesticating wild plant and animal species for human benefit has occurred many times all over the planet, and has a major impact on the environment, both positive and negative....

 and in particular the migratory bird
Bird
Birds are feathered, winged, bipedal, endothermic , egg-laying, vertebrate animals. Around 10,000 living species and 188 families makes them the most speciose class of tetrapod vertebrates. They inhabit ecosystems across the globe, from the Arctic to the Antarctic. Extant birds range in size from...

s, on their route to and from Africa
Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

.

Economy


Sotogrande seems to have kept its head above the crisis. Finanzas, a Spanish finance publication, says that whilst prices in other areas of the Costa del Sol have taken a fall to the tune of -11.4% in Torremolinos, -10.99% in Fuengirola, -7.4% in Manilva, -5-5% in Casares and -3.4% in Mijas Costa. In Sotogrande average property prices have remained the same or increased, in some cases up to 45%. This phenomenon is attributed to the financial status of the residents of the urbanization.

Marina


Sotogrande marina has a train service of 2 trains that take people around the Sotogrande area.

External links