Mitsis Selection Laguna, a 2023 Tripadvisor Traveler’s Choice award winner, and one of the best resorts in Crete, is an all-inclusive, family-friendly resort near the center of the north coast, about 20km east of Iraklion.
As viewed from the foot of its massive main pool, the resort has an architecturally pleasing symmetry: The dome of the Main Building dominates the center of the picture, with several connected buildings providing a horizontal contrast. The wide, low dome is vaguely reminiscent of Hagia Sofia church in Istanbul (Constantinople).
A member of the Mitsis Premium Collection, Laguna Resort is situated on a Blue Flag beach in the Hersonissos region of Crete, one of the island’s most active tourist areas. The resort has 352 rooms, 9 eating venues and 6 bars, and a fully-equipped spa. Furnishings and décor hearken back to an age when craftsmen took pride in their handiwork, with sturdy, wooden tables and chairs, a lot of arches, exposed timber in the ceilings, and very nice gardens featuring lots of magenta-red flowering bougainvilleas.
About half (181) of the resort’s accommodations are bungalows, with a unique grouping of 35 off the right of the main pool configured, Venice-like, as an island surrounded by a lagoon. There are 90 Sea View and Garden View rooms, 79 Superior rooms in the domed main building, and 2 Presidential Suites complete with private pools.
The resort’s infrastructure houses tennis courts, a mini soccer court, a gym, a kid’s pool with water slides, 3 seawater swimming pools, and lots of entertainment options for kids and adults alike. Food quality is of paramount importance to the resort’s staff, and you’ll never have a bad meal at Laguna.
Guests praise the layout of the resort, the high quality of the meals, the hand-made appearance of the furniture, and the friendly staff. Several guests used superlatives when rating the resort, such as calling their stay there a “perfect vacation,” a “perfect hotel,” “stunning,” “fantastic” and “amazing.” Mitsis Laguna also attracts a fair number of repeat visitors.
Rooms and bungalows are spacious, with furnishings that look as if they were hand-made a century ago. There are lots of curved lines in the furnishings instead of the squared-off style of modern furniture. Some end tables and dressers are painted an interesting shade of teal. Some bungalows and family rooms feature exposed beams. Light shades are also semi-antique looking. The headboard of the beds is white leather or naugahyde, with gold-trimmed filigree. Color schemes are generally off-white and crème, creating a peaceful atmosphere. The bathrooms, in contrast, are ultra modern, with marble floors and terrazzo tile on some of the walls, and deep rectangular sinks.
Rooms and bungalows come with all kinds of amenities, including furnished balcony or terrace, magnifying mirror hair dryer and drying rack, beach and pool towels, bathrobes and slippers, individually controlled AC, coffee and tea making facilities including Nespresso capsules, safe deposit box, 32” satellite TV, and free Wi-Fi up to 2MBPs.
Twin Land View has a pleasant view of the countryside to the south of the resort, which is mostly fields and orchards, with some scattered buildings.
Twin Land View (Customized For Mobility Needs) is the same as the Twin Land View except it’s provided with wider doors for wheelchair passage and special bars for gripping in the bathroom.
Twin Sea View has exposed timber ceilings and a great view from the balcony of the resort and the Sea of Crete.
Bungalow Garden View gives you a view of the sprawling grounds of the resort, its gardens and pool. You can sit on your balcony or terrace and enjoy all the goings on of the resort.
Bungalow Sea View has double doors opening to the balcony and the wide open spaces of the Sea of Crete. Relax on the balcony and watch the action of the waves and the ever-changing hue of the water as the sun makes its transit from morning to evening.
Bungalow Sea View With Outdoor Whirlpool Spa (JAZZI) This bungalow features the multi-jet JAZZI whirlpool spa which will give you a Jacuzzi/whirlpool experience like none other. Enjoy a relaxing water massage with a drink at hand and the view of the sea from your balcony.
Bungalow Sea View Front is closer to the beach, near the front of the complex. It’s just a few steps to the beach from this bungalow.
Family Garden View is divided into 2 sections, with one room for the parents and the other for the kids. The two areas are separated by a wooden partition with door. View is of the carefully-tended grounds of the resort.
Family Sea View is, like the Family Garden View, divided into two areas, the larger being for the parents, and the smaller providing sleeping space for the kids. The difference is the great view of the resort, the beach, and the sea from the balcony.
Family Bungalow Garden View with outdoor Whirlpool Spa (JAZZI) is a spacious accommodation for the entire family with two sleeping areas including a master bedroom for the parents and a smaller space for the kids. This beamed ceiling room has a JAZZI Whirlpool Spa which is just the thing for relaxing with a nightcap at the end of a busy day when the kids go down for the night. View is of the grounds.
Family Bungalow Sharing Pool is a large ground floor room with a semi-private pool you share with a few other guests instead of the crowds you usually find in the main pool. Terrace is equipped with sun beds so you can work on your tan between dips.
This suite is next to the dome of the main building, on an upper floor. It’s very large and comfortable and the pinnacle of luxury for discerning guests. The private pool is large. Doors and furniture alike have an antiqued finish stain making them look much older than they are. It’s a little like an upper class Cretan home. 65m2 (700 sq. ft.). Sleeps 2.
The Royal Suite is the largest accommodation at the resort, and worth it. It’s in the resort’s main building, and has two bedrooms, a large, well-appointed bathroom with bathtub, and a spacious and comfy living room. Enjoy the view from the rooftop terrace as you watch the summer sun dip to the horizon. 90m2 (970 sq. ft) Sleeps 4 adults.
Food and Drink
There is a grand total of 9 choices for food at Mitsis Laguna, so the odds of your palette getting bored are pretty slim.
The Main Restaurant has a beautiful terrace overlooking the sea, and a wide-ranging menu for every taste. The restaurant offers both Mediterranean and international fare organized as a buffer, with show cooking. You can choose from all kinds of salads, sides, grilled fish and meat, lots of traditional menu items, and a wide range of dessert options. A traditional Greek breakfast is served every morning making liberal use of locally-sourced ingredients, as well as a traditional American breakfast.
The Cretan à la carte tavern specializes in traditional Cretan fare, such as fava, Cretan sausage, grilled port pancetta, baked fish fillet in parchment paper, braised beef, and red mullet. Locally-sourced ingredients include olives, veg, virgin olive oil, and a variety of herbs.
Italian à la carte offers its own twist on Mediterranean fare, such as cannelloni à la Tosca,prosciutto salad, Caesar salad, Mediterranean pizza, and braised lamb shank with rosemary, garlic, and mashed potatoes.
The Pan-Asian à la carte restaurant picks and chooses from all over Asia for its menu choices. The different permutations using ingredients common to all Asian countries- rice, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, tofu- and methods- steam, deep-fry, stir-fry- create magical variations on those basic ingredients and methods, depending on the country of origin. So you get menu items such as cashew chicken, teriyaki pork, tupelo chicken, and chop suey with tofu, as well as a wide range of sushi items.
Brunch at the Pan-Asian provides a way for you late risers to get your morning food fix. Traditional brunch fare such as English Breakfast is on offer, as well as more local fare, such as Cretan fried eggs.
The Grill-Steak House is for you who love the protein punch of meat. Enjoy such menu offerings as BBQ beef short ribs, tender chicken, rib eye steak, pork prime cut, and juicy beef burger to satisfy your inner carnivore.
Let the Mediterranean Sea feed you at the Fish à la carte restaurant, where you can indulge in such tasty fare as steamed mussels and rice, sea bass fillet, and the ever-popular seafood platter. Try one of the local wines on the menu to go with your seafood adventure.
In addition to the above restaurants, there are a couple venues dedicated to sweets. The Creperie & Gelateria, picturesquely set near the Laguna lake, offers a variety of ice cream, cakes, crepes, and cakes to go along with your coffee.
The Snack Corner offers the quick fix of various sweet and savoury snacks, as well as hot dogs, sandwiches and various wraps to take the edge off on a pleasant sunny afternoon.
Mitsis Laguna Beach offers 6 bars, one of which is sort of a hybrid, the Champagne, Wine and Sushi Bar, about which more later.
The Night Bar is a stunning rooftop venue just off the Main Building, on a broad terrace with comfy love seats grouped around central coffee tables, and un-upholstered armchairs and taller, round wooden tables overlooking the lovely Sea of Crete to the north. It makes for the perfect place for a sundown aperitif or a late evening drink or two. The menu is replete with wines, spirits, cocktails and a full range of low and no alcohol selections.
In contrast to the Night Bat, the All Day Bar is open during the early hours and on through the day. It’s a place where you can get your morning caffeine fix, and come back some time later for something a little stronger. Seating is both indoors and outdoors.
The Laguna Pool Bar allows you to chill at the poolside either in your sunbed or seated at the bar in the shade whilst you enjoy the view of the sun-splashed main pool and the Med in the background.
The Theatre Pool Bar is next to the pool with slides, where the nearby stage is the setting for the resort’s entertainment programmes.
The adults-only Champagne, Wine and Sushi Bar gives you many choices from its domestic wines, and various champagnes, to go along with platters of fresh sushi all enjoyed on a delightful open air terrace.
The Snack Beach Bar allows you to nosh on your favourite snacks as you indulge in refreshingly cool beverages on the beach. Enjoy a beer, wine or cocktail along with such menu selections as pork souvlaki, cheeseburger, or vegan tortilla.
Spa and Wellness
Mitsis Laguna’s Zeen Spa is a beautifully designed facility offering an indoor swimming pool with sea water, a whirlpool spa, a Turkish bath (hammam) and a whole range of body and face treatments as well as manicures and pedicures. The indoor pool is of special interest architecturally, as it resembles the kind of Minoan architecture found in ancient Knossos, light wells near the high, timbered ceiling, horizontal lines, large, painted columns allowing for ample open space for the pool, and simple, tasteful decorative motifs such as the eye-pleasing placement of large amphorae at the head of the pool.
The wellness center also has a fully equipped gym to accommodate your morning workout.
Many available treatments emphasize the classical Greek tradition of body care. There is the Aromatic Greek Bath Experience, a relaxing bath making use of aromatherapy and essential oils, and is only offered as part of a package including a massage or facial treatment, the Sugar Scrub, which uses white sugar and vanilla to remove dead skin cells and to moisturize and soften your skin, the Loutro, a traditional after sport Greek bath experience using, after a thorough bath, the application of olive oil to keep the skin supple, and fresh fruit juice to re-hydrate the body. There is the Greek Gods Harmony, an aromatherapy treatment involving, traditional Greek herbal elixirs and a massage using orange oil, lavender, sage, cinnamon, and a mixture of basil, lemon, and wild honey. There are also treatments such as the Olive Era Relaxing Massage, the Olive Era Revitalising Back and Scalp Massage, and Olive Era Foot Massage. There are couples’ treatments, and even treatments for kids and teens. In short, there is something for everyone at the Zeen Spa.
There are tons of things to do during your stay at Mitsis Laguna no matter how old or young you are. There are a number of fitness-centered activities such as yoga, gymnastics, aerobics, aqua gym, tennis, beach volley, and even swimming lessons.
Other activities options include art lessons, any one of 5 outdoor swimming pools (some with water slides and waterfalls), cards, darts, electronic games, billiards, and a water sports center with canoes, paddle boats, and, for those who are certified, wind surfing.
Entertainment options include a multilingual recreation team, live bands, dancing shows, cocktail nights, professional DJs, local community events, aqua shows and fire shows.
Fun for Kids
Youngsters are not left out at Mitsis Laguna, with a Mini Club for kids 4-11 running during the day, which offers supervised games for children whilst the parents can have a little together time. There is a children’s pool, a playground, and water slides as well. There is a kids disco as well, and an internet corner and a games corner, as well as the aforementioned multi-lingual recreation team.
In the Area
Crete has many, many options for day trips. There are really too many things to do an places to go to fit into a couple week vacations, but here are some options.
Crete is known as the birthplace of modern civilization, with a history going back 4,000 years. The British writer Saki describes Crete as having "more history than it can consume locally." Near the capital of Heraklion, 22km west of Mitsis Laguna Resort, the Palace of Knossos was the thriving center of life of the Bronze-Age Minoan Civilization until it was all wiped out by the Minoan Eruption on Santorini and its subsequent tsunami when 60 cubic kilometers of rock- about half the land mass of the island- was flung into the atmosphere just 120 kilometers to the north.
For a family-style outing, Crete has a lot of water parks, including Acqa Plus just outside of Heraklion, which advertises itself as the biggest and best on the island, and Star Beach Village, east of Heraklion about 15 km. Crete also has some nice aquariums, including Cretaquarium Thalassocosmos in Gournes, 10 km east of Heraklion, and Aquaworld Aquarium & Reptile Rescue Centre in Hersonissos, about 3km south of the resort.
If it’s night life you’re seeking, Malia is about 10km to the southeast of the resort, and is famous for its raucous night life and binge-drinking bar tours, which can get a little out of hand- so be careful.
Ano Hersonissos sits on a promontory 110 meters above Hersonissos, and about 4km south of Mitsis Laguna. It is the westernmost of a chain of 3 villages on the ridge overlooking the sea and Hersonissos, the other 2 being Piskopiano and Koutouloufari. The 3 are so close to each other that they sort of run together.
While Hersonissos is tourist-jammed, Ano ('Upper") Hersonissos is a much quieter hilltop village within easy reach of the sea. It's also known as Palio ("Old") Hersonissos, while the coastal version near the resort is known as Nea ("New") Hersonissos. Actually, "New" Hersonissos is actually quite old. It was a settlement during Minoan times (2600-1600 BC), rebuilt after its destruction in the Minoan Eruption in 1600, and did well during the Roman and early Byzantine eras. The village shifted up the hill to its present location in the 400's because of repeated pirate raids and earthquakes.
Around the middle of the 20th century, as tourism in Greece started taking off, investors bought and developed land along the coast because of its proximity to the capital, Heraklion, and Ancient Hersonissos became New Hersonissos. There's sort of a running joke about how the higher land was better for farming, so sons of farmers inherited it, while the poorer, alkaline farmland near the coast was given to sons in-law. The tables were turned during the tourist boom, however, when the coastal land's value skyrocketed.
Ano Hersonissos is a quiet, quaint place, away from the crowds of the lower town, but still close enough to enjoy its beaches. Its picturesque stone houses with their outdoor ovens make for nice little walking tours in the village. The tavernas are crowded with both locals and tourists enjoying the famous Cretan cuisine and local vintages. The main square is often host to weekly evenings of traditional music and dancing.
These are a few of the closer options for day trips in the area of Mitsis Laguna. Other, longer day trips are possible as well, but require more time to be budgeted. As you can see, there are lots of places close by to Mitsis Laguna which will enrich your stay at the resort.
Anissaras 70014, Crete
(+30) 28970 257-90
Book your stay directly from the official website of Mitsis Selection Laguna and save:
Book in advance and save up to 22% off your stay
Click on Grecomap's “Book now” button to save an extra 5% off on your stay at Mitsis Selection Laguna. Applies to any additional offers.