The Best Kept Secret on the Costa del Sol
History of Monte Mayor – The Monte Mayor Story
Archaeological evidence around the valley points to human habitation in Palaeolithic times some 20,000 years ago. Like the rest of the Costa, life has always flourished here because of its convenient location between the mountains and the sea. The Phoenicians in the 7th century BC will have found the villages of the area as an hospitable environment (comparatively) as we find today. The existence of a Roman population centre nearby is certain and the hills are full of sites where agriculturalists have lived and worked for thousands of years.
The Rise of Marbella
The rise of Marbella and the Western Costa del Sol as a world class residential tourist location is well documented. In 1950 wealthy playboy and entrepreneur, Prince Alfonso Von Hohenlohe, made an unplanned ‘pit stop’ for his broken down Rolls Royce in Marbella where his royal Uncle lived. Von Hohenlohe was captivated by the town and saw its potential as a tourist destination. He bought land and set about building the luxurious 5-star Hotel Marbella Club, which opened in 1954 and immediately became a Mecca for the aristocracy, film stars and other wealthy, influential celebrities of the day. Like millions of tourists since, they were drawn by the Costas magnificent year-round climate, easy atmosphere and outstanding natural beauty. As the town grew it became more difficult to have a large estate with a good sea view. Slowly the plots in the town became large high density dwellings blocking the sea views for Marbella residents and the hills were given to smaller plots.
In 1973, Adnan Khashoggi took Faisal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (later to become King of Saudi Arabia) on his DC9 to do some low flying over the Marbella Hills to select a new Estate. It was a successful flight; Prince Faisal bought the land on which, in 1981, he built Saudi ‘White House’ overlooking Marbella. Adnan then bought the land that is now La Zagaleta from a French Pharmacutical Tycoon. Through a turbulent, boom and bust process La Zageleta, by the 1990’s, became one of the most prestigious private estates in Europe.
The lure of a Villa on a private estate overlooking the sea became irresistible and where the complex geology of rocky hills over long extinct volcanoes allowed, the mountain valleys became private estates such as Marbella Club, Los Flamingos and Los Arquerous. By the 1990’s the hills surrounding Marbella becaome one of the best places in Europe to live.
In 1994 a planning application was approved to make a community of Property owners.
The golf course was opened in 2007.
Whereas the course at La Zagaleta was built just for the owners in the style of a traditional golf club, all of the other courses in the area were built by the developer as commercial enterprises fully open to the golfing public. In 2010 the course closed, probably because golfers had to drive past a lot of much easier courses to get there. It is now ‘owned’ by the regional authority for Andalucía who are not in a hurry to grant reasonable terms to a business to reopen it. To most residents of the valley it is an advantage reducing the number of visitors to the estate by 99%. This situation may or may not change over decades, but the valley is much quieter without it and the golfers who are residents of the valley would be better off with the wider choices and fairways offered around the area.
Thus Monte Mayor was born and we have Monte Mayor today