Exclusive Interview with Marc Topiol, Chairman of Sotogrande SA

Sotogrande Golf Club and Club House

LM: Golf is a big part of the residential club. Please tell us about some of the other amenities and sports facilities you have there.
MT: Golf plays a part, but I would not say that it is a big component of Sotogrande. We make a point of not being a residential golf community and avoid the golf widow syndrome. We are more of a solution to the golf widow syndrome! It is essential that our clients and residents have access to a collection of premium amenities within our gated community.

La Reserva Club is about much more than golf, just as it is about much more than tennis or equestrian activities. It is the holistic collection of these amenities together that makes the club a special place to be a part of. There is a diverse set of facilities revolving around the communities that don’t require a car to travel to, and you can go to in a relaxed fashion and enjoy them whilst being surrounded by nature.

Trail Cycling at Sotogrande Andalusia

We have a bicycle club, and you can go on or off-road around our estate of more than 1,500 hectares of pine and cork oak forest. You can walk the trails on foot, by bike or on horseback. Horses are central to the culture of Andalusia and Sotogrande, and our stables provide a centre for a wide variety of equestrian activity. Our tennis and padel academy provides a hub for practice, coaching and matches to fulfil the needs of any level of player.

We not only offer sports and exercise but places to relax and to be at one with your senses. The Beach at La Reserva Club is the only true inland private beach of its kind in Europe and allows you to feel as though you have stepped into the Bahamas or onto the serene beaches of Phuket. A water sports lagoon and the full-service Beach Club contribute to making this a haven for families to unwind in, in a peaceful setting.

The Beach at La Reserva Club

LM: And what about gastronomy? We do love good food here at the Luxurious Magazine HQ. What kind of cuisine can we sample on the private estate?
MT: I love food. It has been a problem my entire life (laughs)! I very much fall into the “live to eat” category, not “eat to live”. I have been at my happiest here in Andalusia compared to the rest of my life travelling and living around the world for the last 30 years.

Why? Because of food and the diversity, quality natural ingredients and love. Andalusia is a paradise because of the weather and the amazing care of the people in creating an offer that is out of this world.

Nowhere in the world, maybe other than in Thailand or in places off the beaten track in Mexico or in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, did I eat so well for 10 euros. This all happens in Sotogrande because we focus on what really matters.

As I mentioned earlier, we don’t have Michelin starred restaurants in Sotogrande, but they are available in nearby Marbella or in Puerto de Santa Maria. However, we do offer access to some of the world’s best cuisine with a selection of restaurants offering a wide range of cuisines. We are blessed with a rich culinary culture and an outstanding climate for producing the world’s best ingredients, and if you are a foodie, you are spoilt for choice in this area.

The Marina at Sotogrande

LM: How is COVID-19 having an impact on Sotogrande, and what has the club done, if anything, to help out?
MT: We have been impacted no less than anyone else, but we have seen fewer cases simply because of the relatively low density of the population in Sotogrande. In truth, we have been blessed to go through this pandemic here. For the first time in my life, I have not travelled in a period of three months, and to go through this in Sotogrande, is a blessing compared to a much more confined space. This has forced people to think, and they realise that this is a place that can translate the fundamentals of life into actual experiences.

Our marketing team has been very active, trying to bring the community into our guests and primary residents’ homes. They found a great way to be with them digitally in their properties. We have also been keeping our residents who could not be here updated on the situation. This has been our contribution to help promote a good spirit within the community. The team has been outstanding, and our residents have been captivated, reinforcing the sense of belonging as something bigger than any one individual or crisis.

We’ve taken care of our staff. Thankfully we have been able to cover the financial burden of our employees. The government has provided good support for this, and we have acted to supplement this to ensure that there is no impact on their livelihoods.

This period has taught us to stick to our beliefs and live our core values every day. We have had to look at things in a different way, and this will stand us all in good stead in the long run. No one knows what the future will hold, but we’ll be here fulfilling the needs of our guests and residents.

We are constantly monitoring the local and national situation and have begun a calculated re-opening approach. When permissible, we have used this period to carry out essential maintenance to the golf course, meaning when it re-opens, the course will be in spectacular condition and up to our very high standards.

Sotogrande – Where and How?

For an overview of Sotogrande, visit www.andalucia.com/sotogrande/home.htm.

Read more interviews in our dedicated section here.

Exclusive Interview with Marc Topiol, Chairman of Sotogrande SA 2


Sabi Phagura

Deputy Online Editor

Sabi Phagura is a health, fitness, travel and lifestyle journalist with over 14 years experience in both print and broadcasting media. With Luxurious Magazine, Sabi has travelled the world and experienced some of the finest things that it has to offer. Sabi is one of our most eager and enthusiastic journalists regularly finding unique and exciting destinations. She always creates articles that showcase the subject in the best light via her wealth of knowledge in the luxury travel and dining sectors.

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