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Horses, Golf, Spa: This is What the New SO/ Sotogrande Has to Offer

The new 5-star luxury resort on the Costa del Sol is reminiscent of the beautiful Andalusian villages in the area and is located right next to the best golf courses in Europe.

May 25, 2023

Amidst the idyllic rolling countryside of southern Spain's Costa del Sol, overlooking the sparkling Mediterranean Sea, once stood a small farmhouse called Cortijo de Santa María de la Higuera. The old abandoned stables, lodgings and gardens live on in a new form now - for today, the luxurious new SO/ Sotogrande welcomes guests to this charming spot. From afar, the 5-star luxury hotel looks like a typical Andalusian village, with its white stone walls and ancient fig trees. Within the walls, many terraces invite guests to linger, large pools provide refreshment, while the leaves of the many palm trees gently rustle in the sea breeze. It's the first resort of the joint venture of Accor Hotels and the Ennismore Lifestyle Group on Spanish soil and scores with its exceptional design.

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The farmhouse of yesteryear is still evoked by high archways, the thick white stone walls and large lamps in the shape of old pottery water jugs. The modern flair is provided by fine details such as ceramic art by local artists and the colorful patterns of Spanish swimwear designer Dolores Cortés: her cheerful, colorful textiles decorate not only the tunics and bikinis in the spa store, but also the pillows and sofas in the rooms, restaurants and outdoor areas.


All 152 rooms and 36 suites at the Sotogrande Hotel have been designed with a great deal of individuality - each one offers a private balcony or terrace. In the suites, the walls are covered in orange velvet, and light-colored stone enhances the bathrooms, turning every shower into a spa experience. The clever arrangement of the rooms and suites creates a feeling of security, just like in an authentic Andalusian village.


If you are familiar with terms like birdie, handicap and hole in one, you'll feel right at home in Sotogrande: here in the sunny south of Spain, in addition to tennis and paddle courts, are some of the most beautiful golf courses in the world. The seven golf courses in the immediate vicinity of the resort include the Real Club de Golf de Sotogrande, La Reserva Club Sotogrande and Real Club de Valderrama, which is the best golf course in Europe.

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But even those who have heard vocabulary such as chucker, hook and knock-in will suspect themselves among like-minded people: polo is as much a part of the daily routine here as daily tapas. Pleasant temperatures all year round also bring together fans and fans of the fast-paced equestrian sport. If you want to learn how to swing the polo mallet correctly you can get lessons at the Iridike Polo Club via the SO/ Sotogrande. During a private lesson with professional polo player Nano Iturrioz, it's not uncommon for students to shoot the white balls across the field from a full gallop during the very first lesson.


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In total, the SO/ Sotogrande invites you to enjoy five different restaurants. At Cortijo Santa María - a traditional country estate built in 1962 - guests are served a modern interpretation of classic Andalusian dishes at long wooden tables. The kitchen emphasizes on local products and fresh ingredients. At IXO Tapas & Bar, there are more than 40 unique cocktails to choose from accompanied by live music, regional and international wines, and avant-garde tapas. For the early risers, the Society Club House guarantees a highlight: here breakfast comes with a wonderful view of the sunrise. In the open air, on the other hand, you can taste fresh grilled specialties from the impressive five-meter charcoal grill at the Marxa Chiringuito Grill-Bar until late in the evening. If you prefer a quieter atmosphere you can relax with small bites, champagne and live music in the Rocio Garden.


Sotogrande is one of the largest private luxury resorts in Spain. It was founded in the 1960s by Filipino-American Joseph McMicking - back then the entrepreneur was looking for the ideal location for a luxury enclave with good access to airports. He made Sotogrande a destination for jetsetters, royal families and celebrities. To this day, visitors appreciate the local hospitality and the sense of community and familiarity. Over time, numerous restaurants, beach clubs, and a marina with plenty of shopping opportunities have sprung up. If you want to experience one of the newest, most luxurious beach clubs you should head to La Reserva: the golfer's paradise is just ten minutes from SO/ Sotogrande and, since its 50-million-euro renovation, also features a beach club. On Sundays, the marina offers one of the most stylish and charming markets in the coastal region. Here you can find handmade Andalusian jewelry, Spanish fashion and delicacies from the region. When visiting the marina, don't miss the Fresco Marina restaurant. Here, with the best view of the large yachts in the harbor, dishes such as fresh strawberry gazpacho, finely seasoned salmon tartare and tender sirloin are served.


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After a day of sports in Sotogrande, the state-of-the-art, spacious 2,800-square-meter spa invites you to unwind with a Turkish hamam, a large indoor pool with sea views, and eight modern treatment rooms offering relaxing treatments such as a refreshing Pure Oxygen Facial, Deep Tissue Massage, or the exquisite Complete Collagen Renewal. More daring treatment options include Cryotherapy and the Flotation method, which involves lying in a closed capsule filled with salt water and enjoying a feeling of weightlessness under the LED-projected starry sky.


The resort is a 30-minute drive from Gibraltar International Airport and just over an hour from Málaga-Costa del Sol Airport. The jet-setting destinations of Marbella and Puerto Banús are a 40-minute drive away. Seville, the capital of Andalusia and cradle of flamenco is two hours away. With its proximity to Gibraltar, the exotic Moroccan coast with the whitewashed medina walls of Tangier is also just a short ferry trip away.

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