Enrique Mandl, the new General Manager of luxury resort hotel, El Lodge, is from Austria which pretty much guarantees that he knows just about everything there is to know about what makes a great skiing experience.

On our meeting, he tells me about the recent re-launch of El Lodge, the Marbella Club Group’s stylish five-star retreat in the mountains of Sierra Nevada. The resort, a member of the globally recognised Small Luxury Hotels of the World, boasts ski-in/ski-out privileges and offers five-star services, including a spa with an indoor and outdoor pool, a fitness centre, kid’s club, vibrant cuisine and lively après-ski scene.

“This is a stand-alone resort,” he says, noting that the rebuilt version has improved considerably on the original building. “Changes have been made. Some of the rooms are bigger and the entire resort has been built in Finnish wood, which is soft but stable and makes for a stylish, warm atmosphere.”

El Lodge has thus far received rave reviews, having been a top family destination by Conde Naste and considered the top five star hotel on booking.com. Its success rests on established pillars, which include:

Stylish, cosy accommodation: There are only 20 rooms, 12 of which are suites. The rooms and suites can be booked individually, while those wishing to throw a private party can feel free to book the entire resort. The layout is spacious, with floor-to-ceiling windows providing breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains.

The first floor rooms provide direct access to the outdoor heated pool, Jacuzzi and sauna, while second and third floor rooms boast spacious terraces with their very own private Jacuzzi and unbeatable views of the mountains and nearby village. The décor is unabashedly Nordic in inspiration – warm wood is married to leather and cowhide features for a rustic yet modern look, designed by Andre Martin.

Technology is upscale here, with complimentary WiFi, cable and satellite TV, DVD player, in-room iPad, music system and much more. Excellent Cuisine: The Grill is the place to be after a hectic day out on the slopes.

Enjoy a hearty breakfast buffet with a host of decadent treats as well as healthy options, home made pastry, artisan cheese platters, smoked salmon, fresh fruit, and hot dishes made to order. Game and fondue feature prominently on the lunch and dinner menus, as well as freshly grilled fish and Riofrio caviar (produced close to Sierra Nevada, this is the first-ever certified organic caviar in the world).

If gourmet dining is your thing, check out their Christmas Eve and Day and New Year’s Menus, featuring mouthwatering caviar, fish and meat delights. The Sun Deck: Boost your Vitamin D levels by catching the rays on The Sun Deck, the only restaurant in Pradollano offering direct access to the slopes.

Sip on hot wine or enjoy a tranquil lunch (tucking into Mediterranean cuisine, pasta and barbecued dishes) before heading out again to make the most of the afternoon. The Lounge: After dinner, the perfect spot to enjoy a glass of brandy or play pool is surely The Lounge, with its pony skin chairs, traditional Chesterfields and elegant pool tables.

If cocktails are your thing, you won’t be disappointed; an extensive list of creations is available upon request. The Bar: Sip on a Moscow Mule or Bloody Mary while you meet and greet fellow skiers at The Bar.

The Spa and Fitness Area: Sooth your tired muscles at the indoor heated pool, enjoying a massage from the powerful underwater jets, or while your cares away at the sauna or Turkish bath. Those up for some serious pampering can have a massage or manicure/pedicure to prepare them for a full night’s partying.

Those who are more into fitness, meanwhile, can work out on the very best equipment at the Fitness Centre. Kid’s Club: The Kid’s Club, for children aged up to 14, is the ideal way for parents to enjoy the top powder while their children stay busy and entertained at one of the most beautiful areas for children on the Coast.

A plethora of wooden features is married to top technology (Wii, PlayStation, Xbox, films) so every child will find their perfect match. Enrique hopes that El Lodge will give Sierra Nevada the prominence it deserves, attracting high-end skiers from Europe and further afield.

“We hope to bring a new confidence to Sierra Nevada, to attract more luxury products and services. Thus far, we have enjoyed great success, with many repeat customers and great feedback from clients.”

When style is married to service, you can’t go wrong, especially when you throw in the beauty of the snowy mountains, the adrenalin rush that only skiing can provide, and the pleasure of enjoying a memorable holiday in good company.

Words Marisa Cutillas / Photography courtesy of El Lodge