Andalusia’s best-kept secret, El Lodge Ski & Spa, reopened its doors recently with two sets of experiences that will make you fall in love with Granada’s rich cultural heritage and the many ways in which to unplug from the winter routine.

Perched at more than 2,000 metres above sea level in the Sierra Nevada National Park, El Lodge has quickly turned into a sumptuous, cosy staple for both seasoned ski-goers and those looking to cuddle up fireside with the perfect après-ski scene. Its playful décor, ski-in/out deck and outdoor open-air heated pool make it the go-to refuge at just 45 minutes from Granada, a two-hour picturesque drive from the beaches of Marbella or three hours from Madrid by high-speed train.

Serving as the perfect hub for non-skiers or families with children not yet of skiing age, El Lodge offers a set of experiences that can be booked individually or as a package for individuals, couples or groups:

Cultural Safari

Mix ski and culture: Knead away next to famed baker Margarita Nuñez in her workshop, ‘La Flor de Vainilla’ and learn her ‘repostectura’ techinique first-hand, reproducing architectural elements from the Alhambra or Sierra Nevada’s peaks from organic products. Jump aboard a hot air balloon for an unforgettable, private ride above the city of Granada; try the organically certified Ríofrío Caviar in the Huerto de Juan Ranas restaurant and end the day with a romantic, night visit to the Alhambra and the Nazarí Palaces with a local guide to show you the uncharted routes.

Al-Andalus R&R

If nothing ignites your passion like a day at the spa or you simply wish to relax your muscles after a day on the powdery slopes, El Lodge’s Intensive Sports Massage will help release tension with energising stretches and movements, focusing on deep pressure points. Next, a long session in the spa pool will help you disconnect. Later, head to Granada’s Albaicín neighbourhood and learn more about the city’s inherited Hammam culture with a private tour of Baños de Elvira. And if you want to find out why honey-making is such an art in Granada, tag along with an expert beekeeper for an afternoon.

Back at El Lodge

Rooms and décor: The interiors have been thoughtfully designed by Martin Waller, founder of revered London-based design house, Andrew Martin, and bring an elegantly informal approach to traditional alpine style with cowhide rugs, bright Moroccan and Aztec textiles and bespoke Chesterfield armchairs adding colour and texture to the Finnish timber-clad bedrooms, while playful touches such as vintage posters and ‘antler’ chandeliers adorn the walls. Each of the hotel’s nine rooms and 12 suites boast private terraces and sweeping picture windows that frame exquisite views of the snow-capped mountains beyond, and let in the ever-changing sunlight that is so prominent in Europe’s most southerly ski resort.

Leisure and dining: Guests at El Lodge can indulge in three dining options. The Sun Deck – the only ski-in/ski-out restaurant in the Sierra Nevada – offers traditional tapas, light lunches, warming hot chocolate and panoramic views on an outdoor terrace. The Grill serves up hearty fondue, raclette, grilled meats, fresh fish and locally sourced Riofrio Caviar – the first organically certified caviar in the world.

The Lounge is the spot for bar snacks and a hot Glühwein by the fire while enjoying a game of pool, backgammon or vintage arcade machines. The Bar, with its eclectic style and whimsical vintage ski décor, offers a snug refuge to hole up in for cocktails on cold, snowy evenings.

El Lodge also offers its guests an extensive spa featuring indoor and outdoor pools, sauna, two treatment rooms, a gym, Turkish bath and Jacuzzi, while younger visitors aged zero-to-14 years can keep themselves busy in a dedicated playroom brimming with toys, games and films. Rates start from €380 euros per night.