Sotogrande S.L. embarks on a new future

Sotogrande MarinaSotogrande has long been regarded as the jewel in the Cádiz crown. The realisation of an American-Filipino dream, this 20-square kilometre luxury resort was begun in the 1960s by Joseph McMicking and his wife Mercedes Zobel, who had a vision to create something unique on this beautiful stretch of coastline.

Furthering the Zobels’ plans to establish a residential community with sports and leisure facilities at its core, the legendary Robert Trent Jones was asked to create a landmark course for the Real Club de Golf Sotogrande. It has indeed become a classic in its own right and today plays host to the likes of the prestigious Copa RCG Sotogrande, European Nations Championship.

By 1965 the Zobel family had also launched the first of the large polo fields, introducing this regal sport to the area and securing Sotogrande’s future within the wealthiest and most influential of international circles.

Rigorously planned and beautifully laid out, Sotogrande had been envisaged as one large gated community in the style of an exclusive country club estate. The master plan therefore incorporated accommodation, social, leisure and sporting activities, all with sea views to impress even the most hardened of property buyers. In 1999 the Spanish NH Hotel Group acquired 91.5% of the privately owned Sotogrande S.L. and embarked upon a period of concentrated residential expansion, which included the introduction of modern apartment complexes lining new extensions to the marina.

It’s incredible to think that Sotogrande has come full circle and is now back in the safe hands of two US companies, no doubt inspired by its American roots but ultimately motivated by its huge potential. The two private equity funds bought 97% of Sotogrande S.A. for a reported €225 million.

Sotogrande portThe sale has come as no surprise – it was well known that the NH Hotel Group was expanding in other geographical areas and needed to prioritise its resources accordingly. Business commentators anticipate that the investment will feature in the short to medium term plans of the purchasers who will no doubt be looking to inject capital into the project, further improving on the superb foundations put in place by the Zobels and Sotogrande’s subsequent owners.

The two funds, Cerberus and Orion Capital, are expected to continue expanding and enhancing the stunning residential districts, hotels, golf courses, polo fields, marina, beaches as well as the other sports and lifestyle facilities to create even more excitement around this renowned luxury destination. Residents and businesspeople in the area have already welcomed the prospect of a further boost to Sotogrande’s economy and are looking forward to a new phase in the evolution of one of the Costa del Sol’s most luxurious and high profile resorts.

By Jackie Cruz - Manifesto · November 14th 2014