An Andalusian Experience


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The legendary golf course of Valderrama is just one of the attractions in the Sotogrande resort in Cadiz.

Polo match in SotograndeThe Valderrama golf course figures prominently in the golf history books. In 1997 it was the venue for the Ryder Cup, the first time this top event had been held outside the US or the UK. Two years later it was chosen to host another top class event, the newly constituted World Golf Championship, featuring the best professional golfers of the moment.

The Valderrama golf course, Spain’s most exclusive, was designed by Robert Trent Jones. First opened in 1974, then redesigned in 1985, its immaculately tended fairways meander through rolling hills lined by cork oaks. The privilege of playing a round here is the stuff golfers’ dreams are made of. The club is also home to a unique museum with displays of the earliest examples of golf balls and clubs, along with books, etchings and other antique golfing paraphernalia.

At one time Sotogrande, where Valderrama is located, was a purely residential area, the place where the rich and titled would take refuge in luxurious mansions when they wanted to get away from it all. Today, the area has become an exclusive travel destination as well, attracting visitors with an increasing number of incentives. First and foremost, of course, is golf: aside from Valderrama, there are five more golf courses in the immediate vicinity. There is also the Puerto Sotogrande yacht harbour, first port-of-call for luxury yachts sailing in from the Atlantic, and the area is a major European polo venue. This summer, an added attraction has come with the opening of the San Roque gambling casino, offering the full range of games from roulette to black jack, with 17 gaming tables and 100 slot machines, as well as a club with restaurant and live night-club entertainment.

Luxury hotels have opened to cater to the growing demand, including the stylish The Suites, next to the San Roque Club golf course and consisting of 50 suites and 50 rooms in individual bungalows surrounded by gardens. The latest addition, the new 150-room Almenara hotel adjoining the Almenara golf course, is in a choice location within Sotogrande, surrounded by trees and with views of the countryside.

Valderrama Golf Club - E-mail: [email protected]
The Suites –  E-mail: [email protected].

Nearest airport: Malaga (70 miles, 115 kms), Jerez (65 miles, 110 km)


Copyright 2000 An Andalusian Experience. Text by Mark Little. Photography by J. D. Dallet  - A Freelance Spain production

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Copyright © 2000-2006 Mark and David Little & J.D. Dallet