YOU arrive to a pair of bronze lions at the front door and a Hummer in the drive!
And as you check in a brand new iPad is thrust into your hands ‘for any of your needs and, of course, to check your mails,’ explains amiable manager Francisco.
There is literally nothing normal about the latest addition to the hotel scene in the Sierra Nevada.
With Spain’s only outdoor skiing resort swimming pool – heated to 38 degrees – and a Turkish bath, sauna, gym and jacuzzi in the basement, El Lodge was designed very much with an emphasis on luxury.
Expect to be wowed by the dozens of special touches from the 14-speaker sound system on the terrace to the Space Invader video game in the lounge. There are even electric toilets with heated seats that do everything but sing to you.
A total refurb of a classic wooden chalet, once built for the King of Spain, there is no doubt that the latest addition to the Marbella Club group, owned by the Shamoon family, is going to be a huge hit.
I was lucky enough to be the very first guest to stay in the hotel, as part of this supplement on the Sierra Nevada.
The place is a true stylemeister’s dream. Using the skills of London designer Andrew Martin, it has the feel of a hunting lodge, but with natural materials that echo its location.
Its alpine charm has been complemented with faux skin throws, cow hide armchairs and stylish antler-chandeliers. It also has playful touches such as Martin’s signature patterned wallpaper, wooden animal heads and Smeg
fridges in the corridors and little silver bears guarding the entrance to the spa. The African drums in the bedrooms are great fun.
There is a cool bar area with Campari lights and a true patrician-style lounge, with a blazing fire and pool table. Both have armies of comfortable leather sofas and stylish decorations.
There is even a children’s play area equipped with everything your kids might need to have some fun when not on the slopes.
Best of all though is its restaurant, which has a similar menu to the Marbella Club grill and a similar team of top class chefs and waiting staff.
The tartare of tuna with avocado was elegant and tasty, as was the wild sea bass with guacamole.
With just 20 rooms, the lodge retains the feel of a private chalet and can be booked by room per night or in its entirety for private parties.
More information and bookings www.ellodge.com