Luxury destinations gain popularity in Sotogrande and Alcaidesa, Costa del Sol

The municipality of San Roque, where the Sotogrande residential area is located, is experiencing a growing interest by those who buy property in Spain to enjoy the sun all year round
The municipality of San Roque, where the Sotogrande residential area is located, is experiencing a renewed interest by a new profile of owners who buy to enjoy their homes all year round.

Sotogrande S.A. has already sold the 6 most exclusive villas in the La Reserva community; Socimi Millenium is repositioning the area of Alcaidesa, where it has bought two golf courses, and will carry out the new La Hacienda project; a month ago Accor has opened SO/Sotogrande, its first hotel in Spain and the first resort in Europe; Azotea, the gastronomic group, the king of the high-storey terraces, has opened 'Sal Verde' on the beach of San Roque the last summer.

Sotogrande Marina, a waterside enclave of apartments and penthouses
Sotogrande Marina, a waterside enclave of apartments and penthouses
A lot of data indicates that something is moving in San Roque, the Cadiz municipality a stone's throw from the Strait of Gibraltar where the Sotogrande village is located. In two years San Roque has grown from 30,000 to 34,000 citizens and according to its mayor, Ruiz Boix, it will reach 50,000 in 2050.

Although the area is generically identified as Sotogrande, it is neighbourhoods and developments that are the focus of interest. The eagerness to invest confirms something that the locals already know: it is not just a place for holidays, but a place to enjoy all year round.

The Campo de Gibraltar, in addition to its beaches, climate, gastronomy and culture, is also a destination for golf enthusiastrs. San Roque has seven golf clubs with nine courses - 180 holes in total - three of which are among the 50 best in Europe (Valderrama, Real Club de Sotogrande and San Roque Club). In this sport, the peak seasons are between March and June, and from September to November, making seasonality less and less of a determining factor.

Calm and harmony remain the hallmark of Sotogrande, but the generations between 35 and 50 years old who spent their childhood there are demanding other types of services, housing and facilities. With the pandemic, more and more professionals are deciding to live and work on this coast. As an example, the Sotogrande International School, ranked one of the best schools in Spain, has 150 new enrolments this year.

Sotogrande is more than a residential area

Sotogrande Marina, a waterside enclave of apartments and penthouses
Sotogrande S.A. is the largest private residential complex in Andalucía. As a village, it offers a secure environment with its own surveillance, although there are areas of public access. In 2014, the French fund Orion bought this place from NH, together with another fund, Cerberus, taking over the entire package in 2017 and delisting the company from the stock market.

Within the development itself, there are various residential complexes and areas. Traditionally, they are divided (from oldest to youngest) into: Sotogrande Costa, Sotogrande Marina, Puerto Deportivo and Sotogrande Alto, where La Reserva is located.

But the Sotogrande of the 21st century has a clear and defined location: La Reserva (in Sotogrande Alto), the area that has grabbed the most real estate headlines in the last three years. Within it there are four other private developments (El Mirador, The Seven, The 15 and Lagoon Villas). All of them enjoy the La Reserva de Sotogrande Golf Club, its Club House and The Beach, as well as various sports facilities and services.

The six villas that make up El Mirador have been sold in two years, with prices ranging from 6 to 11 million euros. According to some media reports, their first buyer was, at the end of 2019, former Russian minister and golf course entrepreneur Viktor Khristenko. Although the identity of the other five owners of El Mirador has not been revealed, the company confirms that none of them is Spanish and that their origins are Russian, German, English, Kuwaiti and Italia.

La Hacienda de Alcaidesa: golf and luxurious life by the sea

The Socimi Millenium Hotels Real Estate (MHRE) acquired almost two years ago 90,000 square metres for 33.2 million euros in the estate known as La Hacienda de San Roque. The operation also included the companies Alcaidesa Holding and Alcaidesa Golf, which have, among other assets, a 50,000 square metre site for residential and hotel use, two golf courses (Alcaidesa Links and Alcaidesa Heathland) and a clubhouse of more than 5,000 square metres, the restoration and management of which will be undertaken by Azotea Grupo.

This development, which is already underway, aims to start operating with the two golf courses in 2022, when the refurbishment of Alcaidesa Links is scheduled to be completed, which will make it one of the few Links courses (to be called Links it has to have sea views from at least 10 holes) in the world with views of the sea (and Gibraltar) from all 18 holes.

The hotel, whose operator is likely to be Fairmont due to its luxury positioning and experience in golf accommodation, is due to open in 2023, but MHRE says that a final decision has not yet been made. The concept will be that of a luxury hotel with 144 rooms and a golf course. In addition, there will be a development of 55 private villas, within this complex with the same services as the hotel (catering, cleaning...) following the American 'residence' complex.

According to Javier Illán, general manager of MHRE, "we are looking to reposition this area, which is unique, with access to the sea, unlike other areas in the municipality of San Roque". The development of La Hacienda, both the hotel and villas, will be located facing the sea. The area will undoubtedly be associated with golf, luxury getaway and fine dining.

Hotels answer the call

Until now, there have only been two hotels in Sotogrande (the NH Almenara) and the Puerto Deportivo Hotel. They barely added up to 300 hotel beds. After being closed for almost two years, the Almenara has been reconverted, after an exhaustive refurbishment, into the SO/Sotogrande hotel of the Accor group, the first resort to be launched in Europe.

With sweeping views of Sotogrande and the sea, the new hotel has 152 rooms, 36 of them suites, "offering a gastronomic space and a wellness area dedicated to relaxation".

The general manager of MHRE has told EXPANSIÓN that his company is going to develop another hotel within the golf course. Similar in size to the one that will be ready in 2023, the new establishment will be positioned in a health and care segment, thus adding to the offer of new premium facilities for owners and younger visitors to the area. As Marc Topiol, president of Sotogrande, explains, the new generation of residents are interested in the where, but much more in the how.

A commitment to gastronomy

El Cuartel Del Mar, Chiclana de la Frontera
El Cuartel Del Mar, Chiclana de la Frontera
Azotea Grupo (owners of the terrace of the Círculo de Bellas Artes or Picalagartos in Madrid; and of the recently inaugurated Justa Rufina in Seville) has also arrived in the Costa del Sol. In nearby Chiclana, El Cuartel del Mar de la Playa de la Barrosa has been recognised as the best beach bar, according to the Repsol Guide. The company headed by the journalist Cristina Lasvignes and her husband, José Manuel García, affirm that this is a place to go for. "The Cuartel del Mar is going to stay open all year round. In November we have an event of a multinational car company that will be 30 days in a row presenting a new model at European level".

The beach establishments developed by Azotea are much more than a beach bar. The Cuartel del Mar in Chiclana de la Frontera has been the most sought after space on the Andalusian coast this summer. In the new development of La Hacienda in Alcaidesa, the gastronomic group is preparing a very ambitious project both on the beachfront and on the golf courses and hotel.

"In Alcaidesa, even with one of the two golf courses closed for renovation (the Links) so far in September and October for Heathland, there has been more demand for daily passes than there has been so far with the two courses, another sign of the exponential growth of the area," says José Manuel García, CEO of the group.

They are lines of development that complement each other: new residential developments, highly positioned hotels and a first class gastronomic offer. They have all arrived at the same time in a place with some of the best golf courses in the world, so new are expected to continue to make this coastline grow.

7 day weather forecast for Sotogrande

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