Tuesday 20 June 2017

The Mitsis Laguna Resort and Spa Review - Anissaras, Crete

Mitsis Laguna Resort and Spa Review

Big family holiday's seem to be becoming a bit of a tradition within my family, and at the end of May 10 of us headed out to Crete for a much anticipated week in the Greek sunshine. We stayed at the Mitsis Laguna Resort and Spa, a 5* Hotel based in Anissaras.

A Friendly Welcome
We arrived late at night but that didn't stop Leo being incredibly excited upon arrival. The hotel looked spectacular from the outside as we pulled up out the front in our private car, and we were greeted straight away by a man who was more than happy to take care of our luggage for us. 

Mitsis Laguna Resort and Spa Review

The reception area was beautiful, and it definitely made you feel like you were somewhere very special. The floors shined and everything was spotless, the late night receptionist had a big smile for us all even at gone 3am. He took the time to issue us all with our all inclusive wristbands and provided us with the information that we would need to navigate the hotel, and most importantly provided us with the free wifi code!

We were delivered to our rooms by the means of a buggy, which was especially welcome at such a late hour, and the man chauffeuring us even kindly lugged all of the bags into the prospective bedrooms. The team had even thought ahead and left us sandwiches in each of the mini fridges in case we were hungry. I loved this touch because when you have been travelling as long as we had, and you arrive so late there is never anywhere to get anything to eat, so this little embellishment alone added up into one that was much appreciated and did not go unnoticed.

The hotel boasts 351 guestrooms and is directly across the road from the shingly beach. There are 5 saltwater pools to take your pick from, which worked out perfectly for our large party of 10 people who all had different necessities when it came to swimming. Travelling with Leo (5) and my nephew Josh (4) meant that we could frequent the child's pool with the water slides, and of course avoid annoying the people who didn't want to be around our splashy children (especially when armed with water pumps!). This gave the children more freedom and I didn't need to worry too much about irritating people who didn't have children. 

Our Room
I was really pleased with our room, we were a short walk away from the hustle and bustle of the entertainment, but far enough away so that it wasn't right outside our window all night long. The room was very modern/chic looking and I absolutely loved the blue dresser. We were on the First floor and we had a balcony with a patio table and chairs so that we could sit outside and watch the world go by.

Mitsis Laguna Resort and Spa Review

Mitsis Laguna Resort and Spa Review

Mitsis Laguna Resort and Spa Review

The bed happened to be two singles pushed together, ideally it would have been nice to have a double but it was comfortable none the less. Leo had a sofa bed in the one corner which he was really pleased with, and the 3 of us shared the one room for the week. It wasn't a huge room, in the past when we have travelled we have had a lounge room with a separate bedroom, but this worked fine for us and I know that there are rooms available  

5 Swimming Pools
Mitsis Laguna Resort and Spa Review

The children's pool is great (Leo will be the first to confirm this), and it gave Leo so much more confidence in and around the swimming pool (this has been confirmed by his swimming teacher!), and by the end of the week Leo was up and down the water slide all on his own and getting a lot braver in the water. 

Mitsis Laguna Resort and Spa Review

My parents spent the week by the main pool, as this is the only pool that my Mum could get in and out of due to her Arthritis. The main pool has a more accessible front with a sloping effect and gradual steps on the sides as opposed to the ladders, which allowed Mum to go for a dip herself (and enjoy it all the more as both of the kids were being entertained at an entirely different pool!). 

Rifles by the pool
We did go over to the main pool with the kids on a few occasions, it was while I was here that I was literally stopped dead in my tracks. 

I had just got back from the pool bar to my sun lounger when I glanced up and saw a man with a rifle walking around by the pool. I literally just froze and looked at him like a cat caught in the headlights. For a few seconds I couldn't move, I just looked straight at him half expecting him to open fire as people lay on their sun loungers. 

It turns out that it was just a member of the animation team encouraging people to go rifle shooting with him... Call me crazy but I was not expecting to see anybody with a firearm by the pool front, and with everything that happened in Tunisia back in 2015, and with the current climate here in the UK after Manchester (the week before we went away), I couldn't see how this was a good idea, although I was the only one who looked a bit shaken after this unfolded and when it became clear (after what must have only been a few seconds in hind sight) I let it go and eventually my heart rate slowed back down.

The main pool is the one that is most photographed, and it's right next to the pool bar and creperie (Which you have to visit if you ever holiday at the Mitsis Laguna), it's part of the all inclusive perks and you can literally just go and take a seat and place your order. The Creperie is right next to the waterfront with the boat (which makes a lovely back drop while you're eating).

Eating at the Mitsis Laguna 
Mitsis Laguna Resort and Spa Review

I was very impressed with the amount of places you could eat on your all inclusive wristband. There was the main buffet and then 5 a'la carte restaurant choices:

- Italian
- Asian
- Cretan
- Mexican 
- Sushi

Mitsis Laguna Resort and Spa Review

We tried everywhere but the Sushi restaurant as it was only myself who really wanted to go along,
the children's favourite was of course the Italian where they could have a very impressive pizza 
(and this is why we went back Twice during our stay!). The food was really tasty in all of the restaurants 
but my personal favourite had to be the Asian. 

If you are travelling with children then there wasn't a great scope for what the children could eat in the 
a'la carte establishments, but they did have Spaghetti if you asked (there wasn't a specific menu for children),
but this meant that Leo got to try lots of new things that he wouldn't ordinarily have eaten.

Booking the A'ala Carte's
To book the a'la carte's you had to be organised, this involved getting up early and going to join the line
of people who were already lining up at the Italian restaurant. You can only make reservations for the a'la carte's
on the morning of the day you wish to eat there, whether that be for lunch or dinner. This can be rather annoying
and if you are not an early riser, then it could mean that you won't get to enjoy the other eating options available 
at the Mitsis Laguna.

The Main Buffet
The main buffet was always well stocked and there were fresh dishes being added regularly, in the morning 
there was the option of a omelette that would be prepared for you with ingredients of your choosing.

It would have been nice to see a few more child friendly meal options at times, as some of the meal times
lacked easier choices for the children, we always managed to cater for them with Spaghetti, but it wouldn't hurt
to have some chips/pizza or something else along these lines for the fussy eaters of the world. 

Mitsis Laguna Resort and Spa Review

                                                         Dress Code                                                               
I have read a lot of reviews that have said they were not informed of a dress code,  as I didn't book this holiday personally I cannot say whether this was the case or not, but I expect to dress up for an evening meal, especially in a 5* hotel, I mean why wouldn't you?

The men need to wear long trousers or smart shorts and my understanding is that flip flops/open toe shoes are not allowed. I did hear of people during my stay who were turned away from the restaurant for this very reason.

Mitsis Laguna Resort and Spa Review

Women on the other hand can pretty much wear whatever they like.

The Beach
Mitsis Laguna Resort and Spa Review

We didn't really spend much time by the beach, I have to be honest here and say that I wasn't entirely blown away by it. It was a gravel type man made beach and it wasn't overly picturesque, but thankfully the pools made up for this.

Being abroad was the perfect time to put my Maui Jim Baby Beach Sunglasses to full use. 

The hotel description on the websites state that the Mitsis Laguna is 'on the beach', but it is actually out of the hotel gates and across the road. It is only a short walk, but it is not directly on the beach.  

Mitsis Laguna Resort and Spa Review

Overall we had an absolutely lovely week and the hotel was the perfect setting for our large family break. The kids loved their time at the Mitsis and quite simply did not want to come home, they loved everything from the water slides to the food. Leo is still asking me if he can hop on a plane and return to Crete for another week!

I would say that the Mitsis Laguna is a fantastic family retreat and we would have no second thoughts about returning. 

Thank you Mitsis for a fantastic week!

Disclaimer: I have not been compensated for this review. All views expressed are completely my own.

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