With the opening of the spectacular new inland beach club and sports lagoon last month – the first of its kind in Europe – the vision for La Reserva de Sotogrande is becoming visible.

Sotogrande has come a long way since it was taken over by new owners in 2014. The first step undertaken as part of a multi-million-euro investment project was the fixing of roads, updating of infrastructure and the tidying up of the resort’s gardens and landscaped areas. The iconic marina of Sotogrande was given a new lease of life with an exciting new programme of family-focused activities.

Sotogrande had been hit hard by the effects of the financial crisis, but after a gradual road to recovery it is now well and truly back, and in fine health. “We took the initiative to revive the spirit of Sotogrande and others have followed and taken over in places such as the marina, and this is how it should be,” says Marc Topiol, CEO of Sotogrande S.A. and the man leading the resort’s ambitious plans. “This is a very special community. We want to nurture its uniquely rich heritage, draw on the things that make it such a wonderful place and allow it to evolve with the times.”

The Sotogrande he encountered four years ago was at a transition stage between two generations. “The world turns and everything has to turn with it or it will be left behind, so we had to make sure that Sotogrande could evolve and appeal to a new generation of residents and visitors. In doing this we have gone back to the origins of this unique resort and evoked its founding spirit, celebrating the rich traditions of Sotogrande, its elegance and refinement, and adapting this DNA to the contemporary world.” Driving this journey is a clear vision for Sotogrande, with La Reserva de Sotogrande at its heart.

La Reserva de Sotogrande

This 600-hectare estate forms a select environment within Sotogrande, just north of the coastal road. The 18-hole golf course that flows like a green carpet through the undulating terrain and the elegant clubhouse have been beautified and expanded to form the attractive focal point of a new luxurious country club designed to take Sotogrande to new and even loftier heights. A series of stylish villa developments will arise here, with ground-breaking luxury amenities and services aimed at providing an unequalled quality of environment in a setting enveloped by nature. “This is the last large project of its kind in Sotogrande, all around is protected rural land.”

In keeping with the spirit of its setting, La Reserva de Sotogrande will be a low-density country club with a build of just 25 per cent. Nature plays an important role in providing a living environment that is not only refined, but also a sensory experience. “The kind of people drawn to Sotogrande differ to some extent from the clientele of Marbella; they have quality, luxury and service in their normal lives – and naturally we aim to match their expectations in this regard – but above all we want La Reserva de Sotogrande to offer an experience that is ‘different from the rest of the year’.”

“In other words, a place where they can relax in comfort, socialise in style, be surrounded by nature, beauty and authenticity, and experience special moments with their families and friends.” It is with this niche offering in mind that La Reserva de Sotogrande is creating a new generation of luxury, environmentally-focused villas in select spaces such as El Mirador and The Seven, where the first homes designed around a concept of ultimate wellbeing have been bought and are being built. “We have spent a long time working on the extensive infrastructures required, but now we’re nearing the stage where the first villas and their landscaped surroundings are taking shape.”

For a long time, the vision and projects announced by Marc Topiol and his team were hard to envisage by residents and pundits alike, but with the inauguration of the ground-breaking The Beach, the vision is becoming crystal clear. The Beach is a luxurious inland beach club that features the first sandy lagoon with man-made beach in Europe. This superlative complex also features a restaurant, beachside waiter service, a boutique, children’s lagoon, pool deck for adults and a sports lagoon with a variety of non-motorised activities and paths around its 1,6-kilometre circumference.

The Beach is understandably big news and a real hit with visitors, though as of next year, “We will start implementing a more exclusive approach to access to The Beach, more in line with being a set of amenities exclusively available for families acquiring residences though Sotogrande S.A. Next year also sees more investment in the Almenara Hotel, which will be beautified and upgraded to five-star level, while La Reserva de Sotogrande continues to evolve into the unique gated country club community that is evolving from a field of dreams into reality.”