It would be easy to focus solely on the architectural elegance of Villa Vela. But that would be missing out on the wider experience of life in Sotogrande. Founded in 1962, this 5,000-acre private estate provides a luxurious retreat around the hills and beaches of Andalusia in southern Spain. “When our residents are here, they find a pace of life, culture and community that is different to anything they experience elsewhere,” says Marc Topiol, CEO of Sotogrande SA.
This has been Sotogrande’s masterplan for almost 60 years, during which time it has introduced world-renowned polo, sailing and, of course, championship golf courses, including Valderrama, the home of the 1997 Ryder Cup. More recently, there’s the new La Reserva Club, 600 hectares of beautifully landscaped countryside with a sand-bottomed freshwater lagoon, shaded beach clubs, an international school and a state-of-the-art spa and wellness centre.
For any new developments in Sotogrande, the landscape remains every bit as important as the architecture, with an emphasis on nature and green space. “Villa Vela is one of six new properties in a private gated community called El Mirador,” says Topiol. “Our aim is to create an environment that looks like it has been here for many years.” To set this natural tone, Sotogrande appointed leading landscape architect Jean Mus, whose gift is to draw inspiration from the surroundings and create an authentic, established environment.
Set high in the hills with views across La Reserva Club and beyond to the Mediterranean, Villa Vela is in a privileged position. Arranged over three floors around a circular central terrace, the five-bedroom property features a large master suite as well as stylish living, dining and entertainment spaces that flow from the interior to the extensive terracing.
Designed by celebrated Spanish architects ARK, this is a sleek, contemporary family home that sits comfortably in its surroundings. Among its sophisticated amenities, Villa Vela includes indoor and outdoor pools and a gym. The gardens are landscaped for privacy and make the most of the panoramic views.
“Although properties like Villa Vela offer high levels of privacy, there is also a sense of community here,” says Topiol. “La Reserva Club is a place for friends and families to connect and enjoy time together. Sotogrande thrives on leisure activities, whether that’s golf, tennis, yoga – or exploring our 1,300 hectares of protected rolling countryside by horse or mountain bike.”
Since the early 1960s, Sotogrande has been famed as a fashionable, discrete and exclusive destination. And as tastes have evolved, so has the resort. “We create an environment that is respectful of the past while innovating for the future,” says Topiol. “It’s difficult to produce the special aura that we’ve achieved here at Sotogrande.”