More about Mistral Mare Hotel
Agios Nikolaos: Mistral Hotel: "The locals call it Alcatraz!!!"
we stayed at the mistral last week (the locals call it alcatraz)! The location was nice, the beaches ok, the hotel itself, well presented and clean, it was some of the staff (not the bar staff) that were rude and unhelpful. It was described as adults only but there were some children there. The all inclusive package was a disgrace, you could only get coffee at breakfast or an hour in the afternoon otherwise you had to pay 2euro for a tiny cup, if you would like to make your own there are no fridges in rooms (as stated in hotels description), to chill milk unless you are willing to pay for a fridge. the main bar is not open all day, and closes ridiculously early at 10.45pm where you cannot accumulate drinks and have very long queus due to the one bartender who has to pour all the drinks, make cocktails, collect glasses etc. The food was the poorest choice we have ever seen and we have been all inc several times, the offering of lukewam meat, cold chips and soggy pasta was unappetizing and catered for the german palate, all the brits felt the same and many of us ate out at the local tavernas. Also dinner was cleared away before 8pm so every day was cut short in order to get ready for the evening feast...not!!! Breakfast was not worth getting up early for! and lunch no better. Holiday companies would be best advised not to send brits here
Save your money
I've just got back from a 1wk holiday staying at the Mistral Hotel. We had a lovely week here BUT there were many things below par with this hotel. The Management here have absolutly zero understanding of what 'hospitality' and 'customer services' means, you will not receive either of the above if you stay here. The food was quite hoenstly disugusting and more appealing to the German variety of pallet. Slop with peppers and Fried stuff with cheese, yummy! My girlfreind and I did make the most of our 1 week holiday but both lost about a stone in weight, don't go here for the food or service. If fully inclusive then beware, breakfast 7-9, dinner 630-8, very early AND YOUR INCLUSIVE DRINKS FINISH AT 22:45PM, you have to pay after that, madness. The rooms are billy basic, much like an average 3 star (Clean but basic). The one positive I have to mention were the views, amazing, but at the end of the day you can't eat the views. Summary - Staff shocking - Food shocking, Rooms basic - beach brilliant but a long walk - company German (love their Speedo's, not!) General opinion, NEVER AGAIN, go somewhere else.
go and enjoy this beautiful place
we was so scared and in the end we felt like in paradise once we found the hotel. i suggest first of all and to all of you if you are going to this hotel, to hire a car directly from airport and its pretty easy to get to agios nikolaos then you have to drive about 12km more to get there. we thought it was in kalo horio so we following at some point from main road some other inner ones almost taking us to nowhere and pretty scared we were going to end up in a funny hotel with veiw from balcony of the sea....on a poster!
we asked a local who kindly took us the right direction with his scooter and when we got there we were absolutely astonished by the location (follow istro bay...).
we got there after 1 and half hr from heraklion and straight away to leave luggage and ....beach!!
the room was very airy and wide, bed was huge (twin put together for us!), tv of course with only few channels but who cares about tv during holiday and room was pretty clean too.
we discovered that they change the towels only 2-3 a week but it wasnt a problem for us. the staff at reception (depending on their mood...i understand them!!) were warm and welcoming but at the same times sometimes careless especially a man..... probably too busy with bookings.
the bar staff, a blonde lady and a curly hair girl and especially Giorgios were absolutely friendly and very helpful in any requests.
the food was ok, of course for the price we paid we had all those drinks, rivers of wine and beers (i dont reccomend soft drinks...) and in the end we just had lunches and twice dinner ad we were always discovering places around where you can eat fantastic simple greek local food, in milatos, agios nikolaos, agios fotia (after ierapietra, restaurant the river), stalis (minos taverna) and koutulufari village (near hersonissos i bet the spelling is wrong....)and other local tavernas near the hotel (giros the best!); so overall the food was abbundant and good!!
the swimming pool was small but the location was perfect overlooking at the blue sea and to be honest i wanst there not even once as i was enjoying the blue sea, scuba diving in the cristal blue water of istro bay!!the sea side its only 5min from hotel, cross the road and down few rocky steps you are on a small sandy beach.... ( a lady will charge you for using sunbeds and umbrellas but if you stay there on your towels, she won t say anything!!)
the place wasnt that very busy ,there were a lots of tourists however the nights were peaceful and enjoyable but guess during july and august it is packed and to be avoided.
we were in 1st week of june 07 and i suggest to go there in june and sept ONLY.
i have read so many reviews about this place and to be honest i listened to one of those who says DO NOT LISTENTO REVIEWS just go there and enjoy the place. i ABSOLUTELY AGREE with him and i will definitely go again in september in this hotel because was one of the best places i hae been in the last 4yrs in crete.
one more suggestion: take the care in the early evenings and drive around, go to agios nikolaos, hersonissos (bit far but worth and visit koutoulufari),ierapietra and from there sitea and vai beach during the day (about 2hrs drive but worth even day time!!).
so to finish, dont let english people think with their reviews that this place is a mess and a nightmare beacuse its totally the opposite (i dont know why only english they use to complain for every single thing, always...)
have fun there and we may see each other in september!!
PS one more thing: if you have with you person with disabilities im sorry but this place is not the right one and not up to make your holiday great.
Room With a View
After i booked this holiday I looked at some of the reviews. I was slightly apprehensive but thought, even if it's as bad as the reviews say, i'll be able to tolerate it for two weeks. It took about an hours drive from the airport. We arrived in the early hours of the morning. We were given a warm welcome. We had paid a bit extra for a room with a sea view ,and when i opened the curtains in the morning the view was probably the most beautiful I have ever seen. Well worth that little bit extra. Our room was fairly basic as is normal in Greece and was cleaned every day with our towels changed every other day. The hotel staff were great and work very hard, always helpful and friendly to everyone.
The food was lovely. Breakfast you were spoiled for choice; cereal, toast, jams, fruit, yoghurt, boiled or scrambled eggs, sausages, bacon, ham and cheese. All buffet style. Lunch and dinner had choices everyday of fresh bread,soup, pasta , vegetables a meat dish and a fish dish and a salad bar.
The beach was fabulous but the path down is a little tricky and if you have a mobility problem I wouldn't reccommend it ,but we managed fine.
I think that either the hotel must have improved drastically recently or some people just love moaning. We had a great time and would go back tomorrow if we could!!
If you have the slightest mobility problems keep well away from this hotel. It is more suited to a mountain goat. The clientele were mostly Germans the week we stayed here. Breakfast was good, but lunch and dinner left a lot to the imagination. All inclusive - you have to be joking.
An all inclusive experience
My friend and I stayed for a week June '07. I booked the Mistral because it looked like a nice hotel in a beautiful location - the perfect place to switch off and relax.
And it was. If you like doing absoloutely nothing but eat and drink, then this is the hotel for you.
There is no entertainment at the hotel, apart from Gorgio the barman encouraging people to join him in an impromtu bit of Greek dancing around the bar area. Take a good supply of books and board games. Chum up with other guests to play "eye spy" or cards with or share a taxi into Aghios Nikolaos with (15 Euro as at June '07). You can wander down into the village of Kalo Chorio, where there is a sprinkling of tavernas and bars, but people in them are few....it's quite eerie.
The Mistral itself was perfectly OK. I've read other reviews of terrible food and rude staff, we certainly didn't experience that. Infact , we found the staff were very friendly and helpful. We did ask to change rooms (because ours was a little noisey being directly above the patio area) and were given two keys to go and choose which room we'd like, and moved into a larger room with the same lovely sea view. No problems.
Some constructive critisism would be:
1] the air con not being included in the "all inclusive". We chose not to pay the extra 6 Euro a night but paid for it in other ways. We were plagued by mossies and despite the nightly "flip flop control" we were still badly bitten. The air con would have prevented this.
2] There's nobody to help you with your luggage and there is a steep marble staircase to negotiate between the driveway and reception. There's not even a ramp so you have to heave your own luggage up their stairs. Not very impressive.
3] The one and only lift is just big enough for two people. Two people with luggage is a circus act. You can do no other than squeeze in - and breath in - until you spill out, triping over your bags as you do so.
4] The pool (next to the upper level bar) and surrounding sunbed area is very small for the size of the hotel. True, There are two pools but only part of the hotel was open when we stayed, so only one pool was in use. If you were one of the lucky half dozen to bag your sunbed first, that wasn't a problem. There was a garden area you could sunbathe in but beware the ants! if the mossies don't get you the ants may!
Third option was to make the descent down to the beach - said to be one of the finest in Crete - but you'll get stung there too. You have to pay for the sunbeds and shade and if you opt not to and spread your towel on the sand instead - beware - you may get bitten there too. I was bitten by something - ants I suspect - in the sand, my feet and legs swelled up alarming, and if the biting things don't get you, the climb back up from the beach will !! The hotel is built into a hillside and anyone who is less than fit would have a problem staying at The Mistral.
5] Dinner in the evening finishes at 20:00. Prompt. Get to the dining room five mins later and you won't find a crumb. The chef is out of his kitchen, like he's going to self combust if the food isn't taken away before the little hand on the clock reaches five past eight. Our first evening, we missed dinner. We thought it started at 20:00! I've never stayed in a hotel where they stop serving an evening meal at eight !!! And why? It's not like they are putting on any after dinner entertainment.
The hotel was nice, clean and comfortable and a good base for anyone wanting to hire a car and explore the island. Or for anyone just wanting to "stop the world and get off" for a few days. I don't recommend it for anyone who loves the nightlife or has a problem with getting a bus into Aghios Nikolaos.
We have just come back from staying here for two weeks,the views from the hotel are amazing,the food had a good choice ,well presented by Niko the chef,the rooms well cleaned,however you have to pay for your air conditioning about £30 A week !!!! dont think Manweb is that expensive!!!!!then you have to pay for the fridge,safe box,so it soon adds up.You really do have to be fit to go up and down those steps in that heat. The staff are really welcoming,the owner and his wife are always there,very pleasant people ,however it is mainly german clients,the way we would just say good morning hello ,they dont do that,didnt let that bother us. The all inclusive ends at 10.45 then you have to pay,its strange,but hey ho! Only one person serving drinks so always a wait,the lone barman George,very nice person. No entertainment of a night I thought this would not be a problem,but it is,once you have had your meal and a drink thats it,unless you want to pay for taxis and drinks somewhere else,which is a weird on a all inclusive.Its very relaxing,the beach opposite down those steps, is amazing ,clear blue waters,you have to pay for loungers and brolleys,they are clean.
Please do not go to this hotel
This hotel claims to be 4 star all inclusive - I find this impossible to believe. The management of the hotel were most unwelcoming, bordering on arrogant and rude. The staff try their best but are actively encouraged by the management NOT to speak to the guests and get in trouble for actually doing so.
It claims to be a 4 star hotel yet even the most basic things like airconditioning and internet access there is an 'extra (and not insignificant) charge'.
To the management, as a guest, you are not a person there to enjoy themselves but a walking Euro sign and they have no interest in you having a good time on your holiday. What makes this disappointing is the fact that the location is stunning, the hotel is beautiful and the views are breathtaking. It would not take alot to make this a great holiday resort however it appears even the most basic of manners are beyond those in charge at Hotel Mistral. The hotel lacks the spirit and soul needed for an enjoyable holiday and virtually everyone of the guests we spoke to felt the same. Do yourself a favour. DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY GOING TO THIS HOTEL!!!
All Inclusive, what a laugh.
Stayed there for two weeks in September and I agree with the other reviews criticising this hotel. You were expected to drink the tap water (they said it was drinkable), we like everyone else chose to buy water but don't buy the water from them you can get it 4 times cheaper in the village, tea and coffee are none existent as part of the all inclusive except from 4.00 till 5.00p.m. at afternoon tea (which consists of biscuits and that's it) and then you have to pay for coffee. Food was basis greek fare limited choice at breakfast, lunch and evening meal, at lunch time the desert was watermelon and that's it, evening meal was not much better you had one desert selection either grapes or some form of cake, as for the packed lunches we only got one and it went straight in the bin and you don't even get a drink of any type with it. The wine would be better being used for paint stripper, and the beer and spirits you could drink all day and not get drunk The all inclusive for the bar FINISHES AT 10.45p.m. and after that you have to buy drinks. We never did on principal so I don't know how much they cost.
The pools are small and sunbathing areas by these pools are limited, with being on the top of a hill it gets very windy (ideal in the height of summer) but later on in the season can get chilly.
There are lots of eastern european guests and it was a case of spot the English speaking guest.
This hotel does not rate the 4* given to it on the internet 3 at the most, but for what we paid for 2 weeks food and board we could of done much worse.