2 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
We have just returned from fortnight at...
"We have just returned from fortnight at Mirabello Apts in Aghia Marina, situated on elevated position so away from very busy road leading to beach, but still some traffic goes by pool area on regular basis leading to other hotels/apts.
We stayed in villa (split into 5 apts) set in very pretty gardens just a short walk away from main block & spotlessly clean pool area. Apt basic as expected in Greece but had huge balcony with lovely views of sea and mountains. Maid service not the best, didn't always leave enough towels & top sheet taken from beds and not returned, but Olympic Rep had work cut out trying to get through to Greek owner.
Appreciate only 3* rated but expect at least basic essentials to be provided.
Very relaxing holiday everything close to hand, literally 5 mins walk down hill to an abundance of shops, restaurants & a nice very large beach (which is busier in some parts than others - avoid Sundays as very busy). Sunbeds approx 2.50 Euros for day.
Apts advertise pool bar which there is (very nice, spacious, clean area) but due to Greek owner speaking very little/no English it was difficult to order anything until his sons took over on an afternoon.
A Supermarket was situated just a couple of minutes away so majority of guests brought their own refreshments/food down with them. Pool area surrounded by lovely garden which Greek owner proudly takes great care of & doesn't allow sunbeds onto grass area.
Tried variety of restaurants, didn't have bad meal in any of them but favourite (for us) was Kellari Restaurant - service, friendliness, choice of food excellent. Situated 10 mins (at most) from apts."
- Travel date: Thu 9th of August 2007
This is the first time we have been back...
"This is the first time we have been back a second time anywhere. We were worried about being bored, but it was really relaxing with no urgency to visit any particular attractions.
The Mirabella apartments (not to be confused with Mirabello Hotel and apartments down the road), are situated just outside Agios Nikolaos. A 10 minute bus ride (air conditioned, clean and often), or about a half-hour walk during the day. Get a taxi back at night; it's not that well lit and the paths sometimes disappear!
The apartments are always described as basic. But they do have air-conditioning units and a modern swimming pool.
The view from these apartments is the main attraction; every room has a sea view and it is absolutely magnificent! You can see the sun rise (well my wife did) it's really something.
You just wouldn't get this view at the more expensive hotels. It confirmed why we went back. Breakfasts and light snacks are available at the apartments, so don't bother bringing your egg and bacon.
The two weeks we were there, the other guests were great, really friendly. Ok I know this is pot luck, but it does make a difference, and the time we went the school holidays had finished. Places to eat are numerous, but our favourite was always the Obelix just out of the centre, opposite Amoudi beach. Run by a Dutch couple, Rob and Martine, excellent menu and very large (I'm not joking) helpings. I had to drop to having an omlette just to get to the apple pie and ice-cream! They are great fun and really know the British sense of humour. They will call you a taxi and its there in minutes, so be ready!
The center of Agios Nikolaos is really picturesque, with the lake in the centre the main attraction. See it at night when it is lit up, it's really something. It goes without saying that the restaurants around the lake are expensive to eat. We didn't here of anyone who had eaten there, but we did always have a few Amstels by the lake at the Albatross bar run by Vassilia, a great girl, really interesting to talk to.
Another bar we went in was the Cafe DuLac, really cosmo, weird music, but you really felt like you were abroad! La Strada, an Italian restaurant, is just round the corner, quite nice inside, but watch out for hidden charges like garlic bread and water which you may be thinking is free.
We had a great holiday, but I wouldn't say it is for children. The beaches tend to be shingle in this area. There is the Havania beach close to the apartments, but we tended to go to the Mirabello Hotel beach a bit further down (sun beds 3 euros). It's pretty safe to go in the sea here, or just stay at the apartment and laze all day!
Places to visit: Elounda, a short bus ride away, pretty fishing village with beach, and take the boat across to Spinalonga, a former leper colony. Use a local guide to get to know the history, it's really worth it.
Kritsa, a 20 minute bus ride from the centre, a traditional Cretan village set in the mountains."
- Travel date: Thu 28th of September 2006