El Lodge, Our Cosy Chalet In The Sierra Nevada Mountains
Here in Marbella, we love our balmy winter days and bright blue skies! But, at El Lodge (our recently opened chalet in Sierra Nevada), we couldn’t wait for cooler temperatures and white powdery snow. So naturally, we were in high spirits when we welcomed the New Year with our first snowfall of the season.
Taking time out of his busy schedule, we recently sat down with General Manager, Enrique Mandl to get his take on the exciting season ahead.
What are you most excited about this season at El Lodge?
El Lodge has been completely rebuilt – it is absolutely brilliant in terms of quality, design, and service and of course, location. Our spot is unrivalled in Sierra Nevada – Chairlift Parador 1 is just 50m from our front door.
I am particularly excited to welcome back past guests who knew and loved El Lodge before the rebuild. It will be entertaining to show them around the property and hear their enthusiasm in person.
The decor at El Lodge is distinctive to the South of Spain. Can you tell us a little about your favourite pieces?
We have hundreds of small details and extraordinary pieces to explore. Every feature from the cowhide rugs, vintage posters, to the antler chandeliers and snug pony hair chairs all combine to give El Lodge a warm and inviting vibe.
I would have to say that our historic ski gondola on the 3rd floor is my favorite artifact in the hotel. It is a vintage piece, handmade by a French artiste during the first half of the 20th century. There is a quintessential feeling of nostalgia that emanates from the piece. It is very cool.
If you were to stay at El Lodge, which room would you reserve and why?
Actually I wouldn’t be able to choose – all the rooms are incredible, depending on the needs of every client.
Our Royal and Imperial Suites on the third floor are truly stunning. Both boast huge skylights with views of the Sierra Nevada sky (which is a sight to be seen), comfy fireplaces and sprawling living rooms.
I especially like the Finnish Sauna and 6 person Jacuzzi on the terrace. It is definitely a nice touch after an active day.
What is your favourite cocktail at El Lodge?
My favorite cocktail is the traditional Moscow Mule – it is worth the voyage to Sierra Nevada on its own! I also enjoy our Ginger Beer…it is incredibly refreshing after a day of fresh air.
What is your favourite dish at the Grill and why?
Our meat dishes made on the grill are truly amazing. I especially like the white veal cutlet and the T-bone steak.
What would an ideal day at El Lodge look like to you?
My ideal day at El Lodge would start around 8:00 in the morning. I would enjoy a leisurely buffet breakfast, before heading to the Pret-a-porter service to select my ski attire and equipment. Then to the reception for my ski pass.
I would probably start on the Monachil area of the mountain. Then check out the view from the top of Valeta ll. On a clear day you can see all the way to the Mediterranean. After a few hours, I would head to The Terrace for a light lunch. Leave my boots with the warming service and order one of our toasty hot chocolates.
The afternoon would be reserved for the spa – probably a deep tissue massage after all that skiing. Then I would enjoy the sauna, Turkish bath and a swim in the outdoor pool. The view of the mountainside from the pool is pretty spectacular. One of the greatest things about skiing is the après-ski.
Dinner would be around 9:30 at The Grill. I would probably order the T-bone steak. The night would not be complete without a nightcap Moscow Mule in The Lounge.
Do you have any suggestions or tips about where guests should go if they take a break from the slopes?
If you want to discover the essence of Andalusia, you should visit the Alhambra in Grenada. The exquisite palace, citadel and fortress ensemble is one of the great architectural and historical sights of Europe.
Once home to the Nasrid sultans and later the Catholic Kings and Queens, the lush gardens, courtyards and intricately tiled rooms are awe-inspiring and the topic of many romantic novels and poems. If you are looking for a little reading material, check out Washington Irving’s “Tales of the Alhambra.” It is fascinating.
The most spectacular section, in my opinion, is the Palacio Nazaries. The ornate rooms, embellished with latticework, mosaics and grand fountains, provide a glance into the magnificence of the era.
The Alhambra is one of the most popular sites to visit in Spain so I recommend that you speak with our concierge in advance of your visit.
For more information or to make a reservation, please visit www.ellodge.com.
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