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Sierra Nevada - where to stay?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hello all,

A few weeks back I got some marvellous advice on here about potentially heading to Sierra Nevada for a short visit from our family's apartment in southern Spain. Following on from that, we've decided to head there in late February / early March, just for a couple of days of skiing. We'll be at our apartment then and plan on heading to SN in midweek so hopefully will avoid the bigger crowds that are apparently prevalent at the weekend.

The idea is to drive up from our apartment (in Estepona) on, say, a Monday afternoon/evening and ski a couple of days Tues/Wed before heading back down south. I'll actually be the only one skiing but the others (probably 2 or 3 adults) want to come too and generally just hang around in resort (they used to ski but not really up for it this time and just want to experience the resort for a couple of days).

So, with that in mind, I'm just seeing if there are any particular recommendations on exactly where in resort we should look to base our accommodation (going to look for a hotel or 2-bed apartment). My needs are simple, obviously anywhere near a lift and lift pass office (short walking distance preferably!) For them, anywhere they can have a little wander about, a nice cafe/bar/restaurant, maybe hop on a resort bus, perhaps a (low-key) non-ski activity and also maybe where they can pay to get on a gondola and head up for lunch up the mountain. As I say we'll be driving up so any hints and tips on parking would also be much appreciated.

We're very open to what we do, I'd just be very keen to hear some hints and tips. Many thanks.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Have you looked at it on google maps/earth? There are several hotels on the roads top-right from the ski resort, but I think you'll find these are up a steep hill, so am guessing each road closer to the main lift saves you 10m vertical climb in the evening.

Hope things go well for you, several colleagues (including me once) have made the 8-hour drive from Lisbon only to find the winds closed the lift, or ice, or rain... I wouldn't go back. If it's just a couple of hours drive, I would.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Cheers. Yes, I've looked into it a little bit and I am going to research some more (we only decided today on the dates), I was just hoping to get some first hand experience too.

According to google maps it's a 2h 45m drive from our place, so it's worth the "gamble". I won't be skiing otherwise this season (potentially my first year with no skiing for more than 15 years) so in that regard it's absolutely worth going for it. Very worst case we'll just drive back down, potentially via Granada/Alhambra.
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We stayed in a B&B about 20 mins drive away, IIRC (10 yrs ago now!), I couldn't help with more.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
With the good weather forecasting these days, it shouldn't really be possible to get so drastically caught out. Of course, the tricky days are the ones where there's cloud coming over and it's hard to tell whether there'll be precipitation or not. But a sunny day doesn't usually unexpectedly turn into a stormy one. Just keep a good eye on the forecasts.

It's absolutely worth it if it's less than a 3-hour drive. I can't advise where to stay, although Pradollano seems like the sensible option. Like you say, having Granada as a back-up plan is a major plus.. Something that makes SN stand out, in fact. Have you heard that the old plan of connecting Granada to the pistes via the world's longest ski lift has been given some genuinely positive new momentum recently?
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@Pyremaniac, thanks. Pradollano was going to be my first target of more research.

The Granada ski lift is a hoax though, right?!
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
I stayed at the Hotel Melia a couple of years ago and would recommend it. About 100 yards from the gondola station, with a lovely pool/spa with huge picture windows overlooking the moutain and a great breakfast too.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@JoyZipper, many thanks, I'll have a look.
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Dav wrote:
The Granada ski lift is a hoax though, right?!

Well you know how it is in Spain.. the town halls always dust off these ideas whenever there are elections round the corner! I've lost count of the number of ski resort expansions and even entirely new resorts that we're supposedly going to be able to enjoy rolling eyes

But according to this, the Supreme Court has just ruled that the proposal meets the necessary technical, financial and environmental requirements (after having been altered to avoid having the trajectory of the lift passing through the national park) so now it should be "merely" a political matter rather than a legal one - and bear in mind that, unusually, it's an entirely privately-financed initiative. It'll be interesting to see whether it really goes anywhere!
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
A 19km ski lift Shocked
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
A 19km ski lift Shocked
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Indeed! If it were almost any other resort I'd just laugh it off... but this is one of the very very few instances where the idea seems to add up. The combination of a solitary but large ski resort, a hugely popular, interesting and lively city, sunshine and Spanish culture, and - crucially - genuine summer appeal in addition to winter sports, make a pretty compelling package.

I can imagine non-skiing tourists and locals actually really using this lift! Whereas most other similar plans I hear about just seem ridiculous. (C.f. Zaragoza's cable car they built for the Expo, for example.)
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
We stay at the Melia too,great hotel,would definitely rec,we have also stayed a the Kenia a bit of a trek up hill through the village but a very traditional spanish hotel,always avoid at weekends way to busy in resort. Be careful if you stay out of the village at a busy period they only allow so many in per day and if you haven't got a hotel reservation you will not be allowed in,the local police are there at the barrier asking to see your reservation.Can really rec though for a few days skiing,have skied there 4 times send only once were lifts closed due to high wind.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Had a look at the map - pretty sure our B&B was in Picos Genil.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Take a look at the Apartahotel Trevenque - 50 meters from the Al-Andalus gondola lift and is in the heart of Sierra Nevada. It's more studios and apartments rather than your typical hotel room but they all come with small kitchenettes if you didn't fancy eating out.

You've also got the Hotel Ziryab which is situated around 100 metres from the chair lift and has a lovely restaurant.

There are two Hotel Melias, you've got the Hotel Melia Sierra Nevada and the Hotel Melia Sol Y Nieve. Both are only 100m away from the ski lifts, the Hotel Melia Sierra Nevada tends to be a bit cheaper and comes with spa facilities which you don't have to pay for and the Melia Sol Y Nieve is the slightly nicer hotel but has amazing spa facilties which you have to pay extra for (it really is a beautiful spa if anyone in your group is interested) you don't have to be staying at the hotel to use the spa either if you didn't want to stay here. Both hotels have restaurants and bar areas with live music in the evenings.

Hope this helps! Smile
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Have you thought about staying in Granada and driving up each day? We did that once and it was great, back to the hotel and into the outdoor pool for a swim then out for tapas and a stroll arond the streets, not your normal aprez and great fun,
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I think we've decided to follow the recommendations and go for the Hotel Melia (Sierra Nevada), it does look fab. The spa will get some use from the non-skiers and it looks very handily placed for the lifts.

Many thanks to all; as ever from all the wonderful snowheads, very useful information indeed.

Sierra Nevada absolutely dumping it with snow at the moment; some of my family are out there now in Estepona and saying that the hills close by have got snow on them, and it's record cold temperatures. Roll on February!
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
We stayed years ago a couple of times at the Melia Sierra Nevada and also more recently at the Zyriab, both very good for proximity to the lifts and both lovely hotels, but you are right to choose the Sierra Nevada for the spa and pool.
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My auntie lives on the coast and has just posted a photo of snow on the mountains down to a fairly low level just a short while ago.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
hammerite wrote:
My auntie lives on the coast and has just posted a photo of snow on the mountains down to a fairly low level just a short while ago.


This was the view from our balcony, apartment in Estepona, about 20km west along the coast from Marbella. Nice snow topped hills! I've also seen pictures from friends who are on the costa Blanca where there is actually snow on the beaches. When we bought not so long ago the locals told us that's it's pretty uncommon for the daytime temperature to get as low as single digits.

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@Dav, Cool. My aunt is the other side of Marbella, similar view though!
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Love Sierra Nevada, you'll have a great time. We stayed at Hotel Alixirres(spelling) in Granada opposite Alhambra palace and drove up. Nice walk into Granada at night for tapas.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Love Sierra Nevada, you'll have a great time. We stayed at Hotel Alixirres(spelling) in Granada opposite Alhambra palace and drove up. Nice walk into Granada at night for tapas.
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Interesting about the new gondola - the mountain biking in SN is superb!
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