All Holmes Blogs

Sotogrande Marina – pretty hub of a stylish community

Jackie Cruz - Manifesto


Sotogrande is pretty, it’s spacious and well facilitated, but above all it has style. It also has, dare I say

Valderrama, ‘Europe’s finest course in Sotogrande’

Jackie Cruz - Manifesto


Now that is quite a statement to make, but Sotogrande’s most famous golf course has often been described as the

Holmes, the Sotogrande specialist

Jackie Cruz - Manifesto


When Ian and Jackie Bateman first came to Sotogrande it was the beginning of a lifelong love affair. The couple were well travelled and had visited many a beauty spot in the world, but Sotogrande captured their imagination as no other place had ever done. “I think it was the sense of quality and refinement combined with space, freedom and a very laid-back atmosphere that made it stand out for us,” says Jackie.

They decided to make this their home and were able to share their enthusiasm for Sotogrande and its lifestyle when they founded Holmes Property Sales in 1979. “We had young children and thought this would be a fantastic place for them to grow up; in an environment with lots of nature, fresh air and outdoor activities, but also one that is very cosmopolitan and stimulating.”

The European Polo Championship comes to Sotogrande

Jackie Cruz - Manifesto


The news that Sotogrande’s Santa María Polo Club will be hosting the European Polo Championship on 6 September 2012 was greeted with great enthusiasm by lovers of the sport in this part of the world. Already an important European and global centre of polo, the venue has played host to a large number of major international competitions, including the Andalusian Championship.

Sotogrande sailing regattas

Jackie Cruz - Manifesto


When people speak of Sotogrande they usually highlight characteristics such as space, exclusivity, outdoor living and sport. When focusing on sport, golf inevitably comes to the fore, in close connection with Valderrama, yet another famous aspect of Sotogrande is its marina – home to a rich and longstanding tradition of sailing and water sports.
The beating heart of the community is the marina area, with its iconic waterside apartments, shops and cafés painted in soft pastel colours. The first thing you spot when you enter this elegant area is the sight of beautiful boats swaying gently on the waves. This profusion of different vessels, ranging from sailing boats and yachts to large motor boats and those designed for competitive fishing, forms an indelible part of the marina’s landscape, and adds to an ambience of easygoing activity as boatsmen get ready to head out to sea.

Castellar, a rural world on Sotogrande’s doorstep

Jackie Cruz - Manifesto


Lying on a luxurious poolside sun bed in Sotogrande or playing its hallowed golf courses you might think that the Andalusian countryside is far removed, but in reality it begins just over the brow of the low ridge of hills that sweep down into the verdant valleys of Sotogrande and the San Roque Club.

Beyond this oasis of privilege and elegance lies the protected nature of the Parque Natural los Alcornocales, a domain covering no less than 1,677 km2 of wooded highland and valleys. It is a region of untouched Andalusian flora and fauna that includes extensive tracts of olive trees, Mediterranean heath and the ‘alcornocales’ cork oak for which the reserve has been named. A paradise for controlled hunting, fishing and the gathering of wild mushrooms and berries, this pristine landscape is also home to storks, vultures, eagles, otters, deer and even small colonies of seldom-seen wolves and lynx.

Ben Bateman of Holmes Sotogrande – building on strong foundations

Jackie Cruz - Manifesto


Ian and Jackie Bateman have built up an enviable reputation for quality of service, ethical practice and product knowledge over the years, and now a new generation is ready to continue this success and take Holmes Sotogrande into the future.
Having grown up in Sotogrande and within this family-run business, Ben Bateman knows both the company and the location inside out. After ten-years at Holmes he now takes on a more senior role, injecting youthful energy and 21st century know-how into an established and respected real estate firm.

Sotogrande: A Brief History

Jackie Cruz - Manifesto


In the early 1960s, successful American businessman living in the Philippines, Joseph Rafael McMicking and his wife Mercedes Zobel sent one of their trusted employees on a mission. Fredy Melian who, so the story goes, was already on his way to Spain courtesy of a free plane ticket awarded to him in recognition of his loyalty to SwissAir, was charged with the task of finding a suitable area of land close to the Mediterranean on which the couple could develop a luxury resort.

Antonio Garrigues Walker, a Sotogrande classic

Jackie Cruz - Manifesto


Antonio Garrigues Walker, noted lawyer, liberal politician and contributor to numerous international organisations, is in many ways a Sotogrande classic. Although not a fulltime resident here, the luminary recently celebrated in Fuera de Serie – the luxury publication of the Expansión newspaper – has owned a holiday home in this privileged corner of Southern Spain since the earliest days, belonging to a small group of people who believed in the vision of Sotogrande’s founder, Joseph McMicking.
Enchanted with the area, he has owned a home here ever since, even when his many activities and responsibilities made time his rarest possession and both national and international commitments made it hard to spend significant amounts of time here. Sotogrande has become a part of him and in turn, Antonio Garrigues Walker is the kind of person upon which it’s unique enchantment is built.

Spanish property market review – in practice

Jackie Cruz - Manifesto


Our own experience this year has been of a gentle but very noticeable upward movement in terms of interest and sales, and just to prove that we are not talking up the market, here are some concrete examples of sales made by Holmes Sotogrande in the first few months of the year:

Spanish property market review – the theory

Jackie Cruz - Manifesto


But does this mean we should all give up and head for the hills? No, 2012 has so far been a much better year on the Costa del Sol, with increasing enquiries, interest and also sales. While some continue to question whether the property market has bottomed out, the traditional markets are returning, with money in the bank and little requirement for finance. Therefore, the market has actually been enjoying a gentle recovery in highly desirable luxury pockets such as Sotogrande. This is for all the old reasons; a secure long-term investment, an unrivalled climate in Europe, and superb luxury facilities right on your door step.

Welcome to the Holmes Sotogrande blog

Jackie Cruz - Manifesto


Holmes Sotogrande Property Sales has been a trusted real estate specialist in this area for over thirty years, so many of you will already know us well. Ian and Jackie Bateman’s reputation speaks for itself, and their son Ben aims to add to it in the years to come. The company has recently updated its branding and along with our fresh new look we’re launching this blog, which we hope will become a reference point for Sotogrande and its surrounding areas.
Life here is good and the Sotogrande lifestyle and ambience is a distinct experience that is renowned among those in the know. Not surprisingly, this is a cosmopolitan place made up of residents and visitors from different parts of Spain, Europe and beyond. Many a famous face is seen here, but Sotogrande prides itself on an easy-going manner that focuses on the good things in life, and that is what will be reflected in our articles.