Sotogrande News Archive - 2021

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News from Sotogrande

Sotogrande News archive - 2021

by Chris Chaplow

A round up of news items of interest to visitors and residents of Sotogrande. This is the archive for 2021. News archive 2022. Latest news is found on the Sotogrande News page.

MIM Sotogrande Club Maritimo
The MIM Hotel group owned by footballer Leo Messi, has purchased the Hotel Club Marítimo located in the Sotogrande Marina. The four star hotel which opened in 1990 has 45 rooms and views of the Marina an outside terrace restaurant and first floor restaurant. It is planned to re-open before Easter 2022.

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.

Jon Rahm ands Rafa Cabrera Bello, on 18th at Valderrama (foto © Real Club Valderrama)
Jon Rahm ands Rafa Cabrera Bello, on 18th at Valderrama (foto © Real Club Valderrama)

Andalucia Masters - day three

Field led by English man Laurie Canter with -7.

Andalucía Masters, day three changed the leader board completely. It was led by English man Laurie Canter with -7.  With the wind dropping the golfers managed rounds with average score of 71.7, much better than the previous two days of 74.3 and 73.4.

Canter stayed ahead of his compatriot Matt Fitzpatrick, Ryder Cup player and only ‘top’ played in the running after the departure of Jon Rahm on Friday and the descent of Rafa Cabrera Bello on Saturday.

Up to ten countries are represented among the top fifteen and non of them have won this tournament before . They will crown a new champion at Real Club Valderrama on Sunday.

Canter is the only player in the top eight who has not yet won a European Tour event

“I don’t always have that (a calmness), but it’s something I actively try and work on – to be as level as I can be out there. It helps on a course like this. You have to be. The score almost goes out the window at times, usually that’s a governor of how you feel. The course is asking a lot of different challenges and you can’t dwell when it goes against you. I’m trying to stay as level as I can and I’m doing a good job.

The golf course doesn’t give you loads. Although, as we all know, there’s opportunities to drop shots here. I think what it means is I can go out tomorrow and play how I have these last couple of days. The score I end up on will be competitive, I think. That gives me a lot of confidence going in. Having said that, we know what the course is like. The last five or six holes the wind came up from nowhere and the finishing holes are really tough. It’ll be interesting to see what happens with that tomorrow. There’s a whole load of things that can change on the course.

I don’t know how you can go for some of the pins. The way my caddie and myself go about it, we’re looking more at zones and channels on the greens. If you get a good number and the green is receptive you can have a bit of a dig. A lot of the time it’s playing to zones 15 or 20 feet, a lot of the time that’s a really good shot – giving yourself a chance with the putter. Then if you take advantage of the par fives they can potentially give you birdies."

Madrid born Sebastián García Rodríguez was the leading Spaniard, sharing a crowded tenth place.

“I have always liked this field because it is grateful. If you hit the ball well, he will respond and I refer to the facts, since I have been hitting them very well for three days, ” explained García Rodríguez. "The putt has been my best weapon today, but in Valderrama you need all fourteen clubs."

Malaga-born Alejandro Cañizares is +1, followed by Pablo Larrazábal and Rafa Cabrera Bello with +2. Alvaro Quiros from Guadiaro finished +4.

Special excitement created by Austrian Bernd Wiesberger's eagle on hole 1, a 365-meter par 4 that he completed in two strokes. The player from the European Ryder Cup team left the tee shot about 90 meters from the flag and managed to hole out with the wedge.

67 players continue and will tee off on hole one from 08.45 to 12.50 in 23 groups of three for the final round on Sunday. Full tee times.  Golf News

Andalucia Masters - day two

Rham says goodbye to Valderrama

15-10-21 Exciting outcome of the second day of Andalucía Masters, with Jon Rahm humbly saying goodbye to the public who gave him a standing ovation on the 18th green of the Real Club Valderrama. It was a faithful reflection of the passions that the world number one arouses among the fans. This was the culmination of an intense second day full of contrasts that finished with the Frenchman Romain Langasque in the lead with -4 (after two days) and with Alejandro Cañizares two strokes as the best Spaniard.

Rahm recognized what was his main motivation to come to this tournament.

“The public is the reason why I have come, apart from wanting to win. I understand that reaching the level that I have reached, I can help Spanish golf. I remember when I was little when I came to the Volvo Masters, seeing the players gave you a lot of push, now I'm going to sign autographs because I remember when they signed my shirt in 2008 or 2009 and moved me. Perhaps the next benchmark for Spanish golf is here. I am realizing that I have messed it up ”.

The Frenchman Romain Langasque, winner of the Amateur Championship 2015 and already with a victory on the European Tour, threaded an orderly round in which his eagle on the 17 stands out. It is one of the most emblematic holes at Valderrama. He signed his second 69 to beat a quartet made up of Swede Sebastian Söderberg, New Zealander Ryan Fox and Englishman Laurie Canter (  65 today) and Matt Fitzpatrick.

Just two behind the leader, the Malaga-born Alejandro Cañizares asserted his status as a local player to finish off his return in spectacular fashion. The Real Club Valderrama member had reasons to finish satisfied and wanted to emphasize the character of the Sotogrande course.

“Valderrama is an example that a course, without being long, can be one of the most difficult if not the most difficult of the year and it would be nice if there were more courses like this. Obviously, I'm not a great puncher and it suits me well, but a field is more beautiful than one in which you have to hit 350 starting yards. More courses like Valderrama would do golf a lot of good ”.

Behind, Rafa Cabrera Bello who had a difficult day on Valderrama's firm greens, he paid dearly for his few errors with the long game, but he managed to contain the damage and finish on par in thirteenth place.

With stroke more, Sebastián García Rodríguez from Madrid and Pablo Larrazábal from Barcelona, were sixteen, and Jorge Campillo from Extremadura with +2. Gonzalo Fernández-Castaño and Adrián Otaegui (+3), local  Álvaro Quirós and Nacho Elvira (+4), and Santiago Tarrío (+5) also just made the cut.

A surprising large number of spectators watched 125 players tee off in quartets again on the second day. The cut was +5 or 147 strokes on the 71 stroke par course. 67 players made the cut and will tee off on hole one from 08.50 to 12.55 in 23 groups of three for the third round on Saturday.  Full tee times.  Golf News

13-10-2021 "Valderrama is a very special place for many reasons. Obviously it's a very iconic golf course on the European Tour and in general in Europe. I played the pro-am earlier with the president of the golf club and he told me a little bit about the changes they are planning to do in the future. It's a golf course I have always played really well, I enjoy the environment, the condition of the golf course is always fantastic. A lot of Germans, they come here to support me as well so overall it's a great venue. In general that had not much to do with the opponent that I played against. I made three double bogeys that week and I was still in a position to win the golf tournament so that tells me that I played the golf course really well, that I need to avoid those mistakes. Other than that I don't think I need to change much. I was more focusing on the putting last week. My wrist was hurting a little bit after the Dunhill week, when you squeeze the ball so much in those windy conditions certain things they hurt a little bit by the end of the week, so I wanted to rest because this week is a very important week for me. I've been coming here since 2007 and I remember the first week I played here - I was walking the golf course with a trolley because I didn't have a caddie at that time - and when I played the 18 holes and with the history of that place, my heart told me that you want to win there one day. I came close a couple of times and I will be fighting every year to get that win because it is a golf course and a venue where you would like to put your name on the trophy." Martin Kaymer (GER) on the eve of Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucía Masters at Real Club Valderrama from October 14-17. Read what Tiger Woods and other players have said about Valderrama over the years.

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

Andalucía Masters 2021, Valderrama, 14th to 17th October 2021

Tickets are now on sale for the Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucía Masters, a golf event that will gather the best European Tour players at Real Club Valderrama from October 14-17.  The best course in Spain according to the most prestigious golf publications, will once again serve as an impeccable venue and will host the seventh edition of the Spanish tournament with the highest prize money on the European Tour this season.

The line-up, the unbeatable setting of Real Club Valderrama (which has already hosted twenty-five European Tour events, the changeable wind, in the area are assets that, once again, will offer a spectacle for all audiences.

Catlin’s victory last year after beating Martin Kaymer. was the second win of an American golfer at the Real Club Valderrama. The golfer from Sacramento followed the steps of Tiger Woods, who won the WGC American Express Championship at the San Roque course in 1999.

More about Valderram Golf course.

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

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 acompanied by tourism councilor 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.

Sotograde and nearby summer 2021 music concerts

Concerts scheduled for summer 2021 include Trocadero Flamenco Festival, Algeciras Cabaret Festival, Paco de Lucía International Guitar Meeting, and a series of concerts in San Roque.

Torcedero Flamenco Music Festival is taking place at the Trocadero beach club in Sotogrande in July and August. More details on our Torcedero Flamenco Music Festival page.

The Cabaret Festival Algeciras 2021 is a major event planned for this summer. 2021 is the second edition  Artists including Vanesa Martín (July 29), Karol G (July 30), El Barrio (July 31), Aitana (August 1), Sarayma / Amado (August 5), Niña Pastori (August 6), María José Llego (August 7) a tribute to the Lion King (August 8). Tickets can be purchased through the website, El Corte Inglés and Discos Grammy.

Paco de Lucía Guitar Meeting will also take place in Algeciras, the late guitarists hometown. Between 400 and 500 people will be seated in the María Cristina Park, between July 1 and 6. Artists such as Diego Valdivia (July 1), La Tana (July 2), Alfonso Núñez "El Purili" (July 2), Remedios Amaya (July 2), El Perla (July 2) Domingo Rubichi (July 2), Pasión Vega (July 3), David Morales (July 4), Víctor Monge Serranito (July 4), Yamandu Costa (July 6), José Mercé (July 5) and Regina Laza (July 5). Ticket sales are available at and Grammy Records.

San Roque will have three summer concerts: Carnival Night on July 30, Antonio Orozco on July 31, and Cristo Pasión and Esperanza on August 1 .

A round up of news items of interest to visitors and residents of Sotogrande. This is the archive for 2021.
News archive 2022.
Latest news is found on the Sotogrande News page.