by Chris Chaplow
A round up of news items of interest to visitors and residents of Sotogrande. Latest items added to the top, older items archived for future interest. Page last updated 23-11-2021.
SO/ Sotogrande Hotel Sunday Brunch
On Sunday 21 November 2021 SO/ Sotogrande Hotel held its first ‘Laid Back Sunday Brunch’ upstairs in the Cortijo restaurant, both indoors and on the terrace. The feel of the restaurant is light and airy, with a definite Mediterranean vibe - warm burnt orange walls, furniture in natural fibres, colourful cushions, and plenty of potted palms. Chill-out music provides a relaxing atmosphere.
The Sunday brunch offers a wide range of traditional fare from numerous self-service stations including the Rincón Ibérico (cured meats), cheese board (featuring Andalucian products such as Andazul cheese, a strong blue), salad bar (help yourself or prepared bowls), smoked fish, seafood salads, and chef’s stations for Caesar salad, eggs benedict, seafood, and fresh pasta.
Served main courses, which are cooked to order, include dishes such as “surf and turf” beef tenderloin and grilled prawns, seared sea bream, and vegetarian options such as eggplant parmigiana.
Sweet things include patisserie such as petit-fours, as well as lemon meringue pie and chocolate mousse, with a wide selection of other cakes, mousses and seasonal fruit, all with a notable French influence, as one would expect from Accor.
The brunch is every Sunday from 1-4pm, with a set price of €49 per adult (€20 for children aged 7-12, under 7s are free; the hotel also has a kids’ club), which includes a welcome drink. A drinks package is also available: for €20 per adult, you get a signature cocktail and sparkling wine. More details on our editors blog
Fitzpatrick wins Estrella Damm Andalucía Masters 2021
The Englishman Matt Fitzpatrick wins the Estrella Damm Andalucía Masters. Fitzpatrick ousted his compatriot Laurie Canter on the final day and successfully lifted the prized title of champion. Larrazábal finished as the best Spaniard (20th), but the joy for the local spectators was to see Álvaro Quirós who finished 46th in play.
The last day in Valderrama Fitzpatrick shone with 69 strokes to make his final score card over four days 278 finishing 6 under par. His opponents, including Canter the overnight leader collapsed on a course that does not take prisoners in a bad day.
“It's on the bucket list to win round Valderrama with the history that it has. To do it bogey free on Sunday as well is extra special. I'm delighted. It's amazing, particularly way I did It - very patient all day, didn't try to press anything, stuck to our targets and managed to hole the putts at the end. I'm delighted with the win. You can hit half decent shots and be behind a tree and you're chipping out or you've got to maneuver something, it's a true test and to be patient the whole 72 holes, I'm really pleased with the way my attitude was all week.” explained Fitzpatrick.
Fitzpatrick is the first English winner of the Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucía Masters. This was his seventh European Tour victory in his 154th appearance. His most recent victory was at the 2020 DP World Tour Championship, Dubai after sharing the 54-hole lead with Laurie Canter and Patrick Reed.
Laurie Canter the overnight leader at -7 and three strokes ahead of Fitzpatrick got off to a hopeful start, but was soon gripped by two errors in a row that ultimately cost him the tournament. The birdie on hole 5 was followed by two disastrous holes 6 and 7, in which a bogey and a double bogey wiped away his lead advantage. Meanwhile, Fitzpatrick his round partner went from less to more, without errors, being the only player who on Sunday did not commit a bogey.
In this edition of the tournament the spectators did not witness a Spaniard fighting for the title on the final day, as has happened in previous years with the two wins of Sergio García in 2017 and 2018. There was also the joint second place in 2019 of Jon Rahm, Álvaro Quirós, Eduardo de la Riva and Adrián Arnaus behind the winner, South African Christiaan Bezuidenhout.
This year the best classified Spaniard was Pablo Larrazábal, in twentieth position, with +1. Local player Álvaro Quirós was 46th (+5) left feelings of a ‘regular’ performance throughout the tournament. Álvaro knows better than anyone that it is not easy to navigate Valderrama well for four consecutive days.
Report of all four days in Golf News
Beach clean up
12-10-2021 This Tuesday EDAM 2021 started with ‘Beach Clean Up’, an iniciative in which Santiago Tarrio and Alejandro Cañizares took part joined by hundreds of volunteers helping to clean the Playa de Torreguadiaro. 230 kilos of rubbish were collected in the morning and the 200 first volunteers to arrive were rewarded with a free entrance ticket for the Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucía Masters which start on the 14th. The project was part of an iniciativa called ‘Green Drive’ of the European Tour. See Video on You Tube.
Marqués de Riscal proclaimed the winner of the High Handicap Gold Cup
Marqués de Riscal's team were proclaimed the winner of the High Handicap - Gold Cup tournament on Saturday 28th August 2021, after defeating Ayala Polo Team by 14 to 10 in the grand final. This trophy, the last to be contested after the earlier Volvo Bronze Cup and the Terralpa Silver Cup, is part of the polo Grand Slam, and is one of the four most important in the polo universe.
The tean named Marqués de Riscal, formed by Alejandro Aznar, Santiago Cernadas, Guillermo Caset and Cruz Heguy, was ahead throughout the game. The Ayala Polo Team, led by Íñigo Zóbel, were closing the gap to the end. Finally, Marqués de Riscal prevailed by 14 goals to 10. Play was held half hour after Benja Panelo fell and was attended by emergency ambulances on the field. A worrying time for all, especially when a call went out on the PA - is there a doctor in the house?
At the trophy ceremony Don Ramón Mora-Figueroa, one of the founders of polo in Sotogrande together with Don Enrique Zóbel, gave the 50th Anniversary Gold Cup to the winning team. It has been more than a month of intense competition with 19 teams rom countries including United Kingdom, the United States, India or Argentina participating.
Sr. Vélez, on behalf of the Reserva Club de Sotogrande, presented the award to the finalists, Ayala Polo Team. Vice president of the Junta de Andalucía and Minister of Tourism, Juan Marín, presented the award for the best player in the final to Cruz Heguy, from Marqués de Riscal. The mayor of San Roque, Juan Carlos Ruiz Boix, presented the HELLO! to the best horse in the final, the Celeste mare, played by Pablo Pieres, from Ayala Polo Team.
Earlier, on the Saturday morning, Alma Santa team were winner of the Isolas Gold Cup for the low handicap. It was between the Almasanta and BP Polo teams. Both teams came played very strong, but those from Almasanta, made up of Joaquín Castellvi, Manuel López Carrión, Segundo Fernández Llorente and Roberto Iturrioz, managed to win the trophy after winning by 10 goals to 9.
The Medium Handicap Gold Cup final was on the day before and the John Smith Ayala team, comprised of Gabriel Aguirre, Gregorio Gelosi, Alejandro Muzzio and Nicolás Álvarez was proclaimed the winner beating Nairobi 8-9. A double for them as they won the Terralpa Silver Cup in this same category two weeks earlier.
Alma Santa, Alaya Polo and John Smith Alaya win the Copa del Plata
The Alma Santa polo team and the Santa Quiteria Polo Team met in an exciting low handicap final on Sunday at match that took place on court IV at Los Pinos ground. The Silver Cup was awarded to Alma Santa winning by 10 to 7.
The local Ayala Polo Team (Íñigo Zobel, Benjamín Panelo, Santiago Laborde and Pablo Pieres) and the BN Polo Team (Babar Naseem, Marcos Araya, Hilario Ulloa and Pelayo Berazadi.)met in an exciting match that ended with the victory by 15 to 9 for the Alaya team on Saturday in the high handicap final which took place on court III at Los Pinos ground. Pablo Pieres, from the winning Alaya team, was designated as the best player in the final.
John Smith Ayala team (Gabriel Aguirre, Gregorio Gelosi, Alejandro Muzzio and Nicolás Álvarez)was proclaimed the winner of the Silver Cup for medium handicap on Friday after beating Cibao La Pampa in the final which took place on court III at Los Pinos ground. It finished with the result of 11-14. The winning John Smith Ayala team comprised Gabriel Aguirre, Gregorio Gelosi, Alejandro Muzzio and Nicolás Álvarez. It was ahead on the scoreboard in all the 'chukkers'.
The Gold Cup competition is underway and the finals take place Friday and Saturday 27th and 28th August. More about Santa Maria Polo Club
Sotogrande Golf Challenge
David Estefanell and Ignacio Estefanell won the fourth round of the Sotogrande Golf Challenge 2021, held in the remodeled design of the Pinos and Lagos courses at Almenara Golf Sotogrande on Saturday 14-08-21. Seventy participants enjoyed a morning in which the fog and the sun played a part on a day marked by the extreme heat in the rest of the peninsula.
Sotogrande Golf Challenge is a new amateur golf tournament is taking place at seven courses in the Sotogrande Summer 2021.
The circuit began on June 26 at Reserva de Sotogrande and Alcaidesa Links continued on July 10 and 24 at San Roque Club, was followed on August 14 at Almenara, and then August 28 at La Cañada and then September 18 and 19 at the Real Club Sotogrande.
The 24 best pairs (12 scratch and 12 handicap) will then compete in the Grand Final on November 11 at the Real Club Valderrama just a few weeks after the Andalusia Valderrama Masters 2021 takes place there. 200 participants are expected to enrol for the tournament, registration fee is 750€ (or 500€ club members) and the deadline 17-06-2021 at www.sotograndechallange.com.
Aramco Team Series golf tournament in Sotogrande
Ashleigh Buhai's team claimed victory at Sotogrande as Alison Lee earned her first professional win. Team Buhai, also featuring Stacy Lee Bregman, Hayley Davis and amateur Ignacio Morillo, edged Team Strom, captained by Linnea Strom, at the first playoff hole after both sides had finished level on 35 under par. "It was a team effort, we all pulled our part this week" said Buhai.
The second round of the Aramco Team Series golf tournament, which is part of the 2021 Ladies European Tour took place at La Reserva de Sotogrande on August 5th to 7th. Due to Coronavirus restrictions, the Singapore event had been rescheduled to La Reserva de Sotogrande. Players include Georgia Hall, winner of the British Open, Charley Hull, Bronte Law, Lizette Salas, Moriya Jutanugarn and Alison Lee. There were 13 Spanish players including from Andalucia Ana Peláez, Laura Gómez or Noemí Jiménez.
The Aramco Team Series is the first team event series of its kind on any professional tour. Taking place across three continents, the tournaments see the world’s best players team up with an amateur golfers to compete for a $1m prize fund. Using a unique draft system, team captains will pick one pro teammate, before being allocated a third via a random draw. Completing each team will be one amateur golfer. As well as competing for the team trophy, the professionals will also vie for an individual title, offering Rolex Rankings and Solheim Cup ranking points, and will be part of the Race to Costa del Sol Official Rankings.
Other dates scheduled for 2021 by Aramco for the series were London (July 8 at the Centurion Golf Club in St Albans) and will be New York (from October 14 to 16) and Jeddah (from November 10 to 12).
Other 2021 Ladies European Tour, tournament dates in Spain are Terramar in Sitges and Los Naranjos Golf Club in Marbella (from 25th to 28th November).
SO/ Sotogrande Resort and Spa opens
SO/ Sotogrande opened on 1st of August with a soft opening ceremony attended on 28th July attended by Roberto Roca of Sotogrande S.A., Juan Carlos Ruiz Boixa the mayor of San Roque accompanied by tourism councillor Ana Ruiz, plus representatives from SO/ Hotels & resorts.
Managed by SO/ Hotels and Resorts and the most avant-garde brand in Accor’s luxury portfolio, this being the first SO/ property in Spain. It had been closed for refurbishment since late 2019. This new five star hotel comprises of 152 rooms and 36 suites, extensive private gardens of 7 hectares and adjoining 2.800 sqm state of the art Spa & Wellness Center. It is adjacent to Almenara Golf Club House.
Book Hotels in Sotogrande
Foundation stone laid at the La Reserve Development – Village Verde
The mayor of San Roque, Juan Carlos Ruiz Boix, and the CEO of Sotogrande SA, Roberto Roca, and members of the construction company laid the Foundation stone at the Village Verde residential development at La Reserva, Sotogrande on Monday 21-06-2021
The development consists of two, three and four bedroom apartments of between 180 and 520 square meters, plus exclusive four bedroom penthouses. The first 48 homes will be ready for occupation at the end of 2022.
At the event, the mayor highlighted Sotogrande's commitment and commitment to the city and to excellence, as evidenced by this development, of which its first 48 homes are scheduled to be delivered by the end of 2022.
In total there will be homes 122 built on the 16-hectare plot. In a third phase 20 independent villas will be constructed next to the lagoon.
Puerto Sotogrande - a marine laboratory
Puerto Sotogrande signed an agreement on 1st June 2021 with three Andalucia Universities; Malaga, Granada and Almería, to turn the port into a laboratory for the service of science, training of the marine industry with the aim to encourage business innovation and to help address environmental and socio-economic problems.
One specific project is to the use of new technologies to monitor the biological invasion of Rugulopteryx okamurae (brown algae) in the Strait of Gibraltar. This is detailed in the ECO2-Sotogrande project. This includes taking samples from boats on the Andalusian coast. Remote undersea vehicles will be used to study the presence of these invasive algae on the Costa del Sol and the Strait of Gibraltar.
Music Video filmed in Sotogrande Marina
Dani Cerdán, singer and DJ from San Martín del Tesorillo and former town councillor has released his second song, Amor de callle. His first release was called ‘My Game’
Amor de calle, is a reggaeton-flamenco genre and the video was recorded in Sotogrande Marina and San Martin de Tesorillo and features Dani Cerdán himself and Mayka Rivera, actress, model and former contestant on the television program La Isla de las Tentaciones.