I am a Gibraltarian living in London - like most Gibraltarians I love the sun and the Mediterranean food of southern Spain. I love to visit as often as I can - our Casa is my family's favourite place to come together - whether that is my husband and kids or my large extended family who live on the Rock or close-by in Spain.
Sotogrande is a large private estate. It has its own secure manned entrances. It is a mixed community of people who live and work there all year round plus holidaymakers from all over Europe. It offers a classic southern European setting with beaches, golf, tennis, water sports and easy access to the Costa del Sol and Costa del Luz. Gibraltar is 20 minutes drive and Malaga is 50 minutes using the easily accessed toll road.
Good, safe, sandy beaches (Torreguardiaro) are five minutes away by car but the whole coast is one long beach - and beach beds and shades are available on almost all beaches these days.
Our villa is a perfect family (or families) Spanish holiday retreat.
It comfortably sleeps 10.
The main house has three bedrooms (two doubles and a twin) - and a spare sofa bedroom if needed. Each room has its own bathroom with shower - the master bedroom also has a jacuzzi bath. The annexe has a double and a twin room plus small kitchen area. The pool is set in the spacious mature garden which has ample sunny and shaded areas.
The annexe next to the house has one double and one twin bedroom with its own shower room and a small kitchen area - and is perfect for a family of four or as we use it for giving guests or teens their own space.
The large kitchen/diner is well equipped with modern appliances and cookware whether like me you love to cook or like my husband to fire up the gas BBQ or the traditional charcoal chimney.
Eating outside is one of the best things about Villa life.
There is a good quality wooden cot and high chairs.
The separate utility room has washing machine, dryer and spare fridge/freezer.
There are Orange and Avocado fruit trees.
There is a car port and/or easy external parking.
The main living room has a brand new flat screen TV and DVD player with a full range of UK satellite channels (incl. sports and movies plus on demand movies). There are also around 100 dvd movies.
There is also a movie screening room with DVD player plus Xbox360, PS2 & PS3.
Free Wi-Fi is via fibre optic cable.
The pool has sun beds, a hammock and plenty of pool toys, floats etc.
All bedrooms have air conditioning.
We have local property managers who are always on hand to help with questions or queries or any small issues.
There are three main supermarkets within five minutes drive - Supercor (a Waitrose equivalent), Mercadona (a Sainsbury's equivalent) and there's a Lidl.
In 5 minutes walking distance is the Paniagua complex where you will find a great Spanish coffee shop, hairdressers, newspaper shop, pharmacy and a couple of good restaurants.
The Sotogrande Marina is five minutes drive - perfect for an evening stroll or meal or an ice-cream (helado).
The nearest small town is Pueblo Nuevo - a working town - which is also 5 minutes drive - here are plenty of lovely breakfast (desayunos) and coffee shop choices plus some small grocers which always open on Sundays - not the case for all the big supermarkets.
If you head West towards Marbella - you'll find the classic Costa del Sol of beachfront towns like Estepona, San Luis de Sabanillas and San Pedro.
If you head East towards (and beyond) Algeciras you will find the Bahia Water Park - a great day out. And from there it's the Atlantic coast with world famous surf centre Tarifa and miles of deserted beaches. This ancient fishing coast is much less developed than the Costa del Sol and there's lots to explore.
And, of course, north Africa and the Moroccan coastal towns are only a 30 minute hydrofoil away if you want to sample the heady buzz of Tangiers.