Situated in the foothills of the Mijas Mountains, with breathtaking views of the Andalusian countryside, La Cala Resort, which celebrates its 30thanniversary this year, feels a world away from the hustle and bustle of the coast, even though it lies just 20 minutes from Marbella and 30 minutes from Malaga airport.
Thirty years on from its opening, the Irish-owned La Cala Resort, part of the FBD Hotels and Resorts portfolio, along with the nearby Sunset Beach Club in Benalmadena, boasts three championship courses – America, Asia and Europa. All three were designed by Cabell Robinson, with each 18-hole layout created to ensure a truly exhilarating golfing experience. Campo Asia was the first to open in 1989, with Campo America arriving two years later, and Campo Europa a further 14 years down the line in 2005.
This year is a very special one for La Cala Resort, with 2019 representing the 30th anniversary of the Asia course opening for play. Since 1989, La Cala has grown into one of the largest golf resorts in Europe, with its ever-growing range of services and an expanding property portfolio attracting many loyal clients. This landmark 30th birthday year is set to be marked in fitting style via a number of celebratory events all bearing La Cala Resort’s specially created 30th anniversary logo.
On May 4, La Cala Resort played host to a 30th anniversary jazz day as part of the build-up to the major summer celebrations planned for July 12. This mid-summer day will see a grand 30th anniversary tournament to which a host of local clients will be invited, followed by a 30th anniversary event that will run on long into the night at the resort. Further special events are being planned for the annual International Golf Travel Market (IGTM) in Marrakech from October 14-17.
When Cabell Robinson first set eyes on the plot in the late 1980s with a view to creating the first of the three courses, he knew he faced a unique challenge for his very first solo course design project. He said: “At first, I thought the terrain was at the limit of what could be turned into golf courses, given the severe changes in altitude. I remember looking at the whole estate and thinking, ‘I hope I know what I’m doing’. We ended up moving 500,000 cubic metres of earth, almost four times the amount that would be moved in flatter projects. Without wishing to sound arrogant, I’m still very proud of the work at La Cala.”
In addition to 54 holes of golf, the resort also offers accommodation of the highest standard, including a newly renovated 107-bedroom hotel and a selection of on-site properties for sale and rent. These range from two-bedroom apartments to five-bedroom villas spread throughout a vast estate of approximately four million square metres. Future plans, in association with Taylor Wimpey Espana, include ‘Natura’, an exclusive development of 40 three-bedroom golf-front townhouses, and ‘Sun Valley’, the first phase of which will deliver 23 penthouses and apartments with terraces and golf course vistas.
Other resort facilities include a spa, a choice of restaurants and bars, while the clubhouse offers a pro shop and a restaurant looking out over the Asia course. There are also further leisure opportunities with a FIFA-standard football pitch, running circuit, gym, tennis and squash courts. The resort offers a transfer service from both Malaga airport and the coastal towns on the Costa del Sol.