We booked 2 weeks in early May at the Mirabello via RCI to use up some points.
Previous RCI exchanges we have used had been dire so we were a little concerned at what we would find but we needn’t have worried.
We booked Sat to Sat but actually travelled out from LGW (easyJet) on Sunday afternoon and returned on Fri at midnight to save money on the flights.
Flying time was under 4 hours and we transited to the resort with Holidaytaxis.com. This is a pre-booked coach that runs to several resorts, dropping off passengers along the way. The whole procedure was very efficient and at under £40 for 2 both ways, very good value. The journey time was about 90mins, longer than for a taxi but cheaper.
Checking in to the Mirabello at 0100 we obviously didn’t see much of the resort until the morning. We found ourselves in a v nice duplex with a view from our balcony, between other units, of Agios Nicholaos harbour and a lemon tree within easy reach. The grounds were beautifully maintained and some of the units had their very own infinity pools right by their doors. Never actually saw anyone using them but it was early in their season.
We were across the road from the main hotel and restaurants but a footbridge links the 2 sites.
Most guests seemed to be on all-inclusive or half-board deals so could sample the restaurants better than us. We had only occasional breakfasts or self-catered in our apartment. The breakfasts were the usual buffets of cooked and continental options but for €6 a head offered exceptional value so you could stoke up and last all day.
There was indoor seating and open terraces for dining and poolside bars so all eating options are available. There are 2 beaches, one sandy by the hotel's own marina (only 1 cruiser moored there in early May) and another shingle beach beyond the volleyball court. Many loungers and umbrellas are supplied free to residents compared with €7 on public beaches.
The usual hotel activities or animations as they call them are offered for families but these weren’t being used by many as it was early in the season and the demographic was older couples or those with very young children. Sometimes the music being played was a bit intrusive but on the shingle beach you couldn’t hear it too much. There were also canoes and jetskis for hire at the watersports centre within the complex.
The main Reception area was very spacious and all staff were friendly and professional. We had to use their pc and printer to print off something for our booking and they were very accommodating.
In our unit we had sleeping for 4 if needed but the facilities were a little sparse for self-catering. The fridge was big enough for 2 and some little milk cartons were left for us, a decent kettle and a toaster, crockery and cutlery but oddly no knives for spreading stuff on toast. There is an on-site supermarket for beachey things and another one opposite the main hotel entrance and on the same side of the road as the Village units. A little pricey but very handy, well-stocked and friendly.
There is a hairdryer in the bathroom which was a good size and well equipped.
One omission is the lack of drawer space – the bedside units are simple tables and there are none in the fitted wardrobes. The only drawer is in the tv table unit and very shallow.
The tv is a modern flat screen Samsung but there are virtually no English broadcasts other than Sky News and BBC World news. There is a good-sized safe in the wardrobe and the FREE wifi works just about everywhere and was well appreciated by us.
The rooms were kept clean and tidy by the maids with linen changes about every other day.
The hotel has extensive grounds which are beautifully kept and offer lovely views of the area the higher you climb from the marina. There is even a lovely little church on the site, floodlit tennis courts, a kids club and outdoor theatre. Several wedding parties were held there.
The town of Ag Nic is easily walkable (less than 30 mins) depending on distractions on the way and how far into the town you venture. Otherwise there are buses into town, or to Elounda in the other direction. Worth a visit by the way. We walked there (several hours on a main road but excellent views) and got the bus back. The local buses are actually luxury air-conditioned coaches – way better than anything we get in England and the fares are ridiculously cheap. There are always several Mercedes taxis waiting outside Reception as well.
There are 2 hire car firms within walking distance. We used K? and got a Panda for 2 days for €50 but I’m sure Economy were offering similar deals. An English bloke works at Economy so no language issues there.
If you hire a car and want to do the boat trip from Ag Nic to Spinalonga Island (recommended) get a discount on the ticket price at the car hire places – it’ll pay for the beers on board the boat.
If you are not full board at the Mirabello there are many excellent eating places nearby and in Ag Nic town where you can sample Greek style food. Stavros run by Maria (“No problem”) is really cheap and good quality and her raki is superb. Also very friendly is Diogenes(?) both are just a few minutes walk down the hill.
There are many restaurants to choose from in the town offering a more sophisticated and expensive experience, but you are bound to find one you like. If you easily tire of being hassled by front of house guys avoid those by the Lake in the town although it is a very pleasant place to sit and watch the world go by.
Sometimes a cruise ship calls by so the daytime population increases by a few hundred but they have sailed away by 5pm. Our favourite restaurant was on the other side of town, right by the waters edge near the main Marina, called Ellas (the LL is an upside down V in Greek) it is run by a delightful chap called Apostolides who has a quirky sense of humour and occasionally rides off on a moped to deliver pizzas. His fabulous peppered steaks are like no other and the souvlaki is excellent too.
In May the town was relatively quiet and laid back but I imagine things get a bit hectic in high season so visitors may get a different impression to what we found.
I needed an emergency haircut whilst there and Georgia gave me the best haircut I have had in a long while. She works in the Spa but we didn’t use the Spa for anything else.
Sadly we bade our farewells and boarded the Holidaytaxi coach back to Heraklion for the midnight flight home. This airport is in serious need of an upgrade. We dumped our hold suitcase on the weighing conveyor as we’ve done a million times before at airports, had our boarding cards and passports checked and strolled off to waste some time before the flight. Suddenly I was aware that the check in girl was calling my name and chasing me across the terminal. Apparently I was supposed to then carry my suitcase to the Xray area a few yards away. When she had told us about the Xray Area C or whatever it was I assumed she meant the usual security check that passengers go through. A bit embarrassing.
Anyway it gave us something to laugh about in this dreadful airport (bottle of Bombay Sapphire in Duty Free €25 – I don’t think so!)
So in short a very good holiday in a lovely hotel/resort on a beautiful island.
Will we go back – you betcha!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- This impeccable resort on the Aegean Sea with elegant facilities and professional service is the ideal choice for those wanting to spend a luxurious holiday in Greece, either as a family or a couple. Its surroundings and landscape that can be seen from the rooms, terraces and swimming pools are spectacular. Furthermore, it is only a few miles from the center of the town of Agios Nikolaos, which has a lively nightlife. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Onthebeach, Booking.com, LoveHolidays, Travel Republic (UK), Ebookers and 5viajes2012 S.L. so you can book your Mirabello Beach & Village Hotel reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Iberostar Mirabello Beach And Village
- Iberostar Mirabello Beach & Village Hotel Agios Nikolaos
- Iberostar Agios Nikolaos
- Iberostar Hotel Mirabello Village
- Mirabello Beach & Village Hotel Crete/Agios Nikolaos