Michael Norton is the sales manager of Sotogrande SA, but also one of the main assets of this paradise in southern Spain. Since the birth of the village, Norton has lived in parallel global development with the growth of urbanization, and is one of the best witnesses to tell us about the lifestyle of Sotogrande.
1. After celebrating Sotogrande’s 50th anniversary, what has changed overs the years?
At first, Sotogrande was a very exclusive place where a single person, Josep McMiking, was the owner of everything; and he personally chose the buyers of the land that was up for sale. These plots did not mediate within 4000 m2, but today you can find plots from 1000 m2 to apartments. The spirit of the founder is still very much present, and Sotogrande is still a unique place in the world.
2. Golf and polo has always been important, what is the added value of Sotogrande as a holiday place?
Golf has been important since the beginning of Sotogrande: the Real Club de Golf Sotogrande began construction in 1964, designed by the best golf course designer at the time, Robert Trent Jones. The posterior polo field, next to the Beach Club El Cucurucho, was built in 1975. Today, Sotogrande is renowned worldwide for these two sports. We hold annually one of the world’s best known polo tournaments in the summer and we have five golf courses; Club de Golf Valderrama, RCG Sotogrande, Club de Golf La Reserva de Sotogrande, Almenara and La Cañada. This makes this area and Sotogrande the best destination for golfers, looking to play golf top quality courses.
Sotogrande is one of the best resorts in Europe, its contribution to these sports and their visitors is huge. The three pillars of Sotogrande are family, sports and safety.
3. After hosting the Ryder Cup in 1997, is Sotogrande one of the best places to play golf?
As I said before, one of the features of the resort is the importance that has been given to golf since our beginning. The Ryder Cup has allowed us to expand and make ourselves known worldwide. Valderrama is the best golf course in Continental Europe, but there are also so many other top quality golf courses in the area.
4. Why is Sotogrande of such interest to foreigners?
Because it is an international resort. As a detail, I can say that only in Sotogrande the International School has 22 different nationalities living together. More and more foreigners are choosing to live in Sotogrande; parents can work in Gibraltar or in other countries and still have their residence here. Being so close to Gibraltar makes possible to work in London and come back to Sotogrande for weekends.
5. What is there to do in July in Sotogrande (during the celebration of the WCGC World Final)?
July may be the best month to spend in Sotogrande, the climate is ideal for any type of sports: golf, polo, horse riding, paddle, tennis… and cannot forget about water sports.
Restaurants, pubs, bars, hotels, and beaches are all open and have the advantage of not being overcrowded by visitors and residents as most rentals usually come during the month of August.