Mitsis Rinela, a 5-star all-inclusive resort, can be found at Kokkino Chani, which is just a few minutes east of Heraklion’s Nikos Kazantzakis International Airport on Crete’s north shore. This 2023 Tripadvisor’s Traveler’s Choice award-winning facility attracts a lot of return visitors for good reason: the hotel was recently completely renovated, and has the look and feel of a brand-new facility.
Elastic Architects, the contractor for the renovation, had as its goal improvements in the resort’s aesthetics with use of ground-level lighting, illuminating the pathways, trees and plants of the grounds. They’ve also emphasized abundant use of natural materials in the resort’s public spaces, such as the employment of wicker lattices and wood in the resorts pergolas (shaded walkways or sitting areas) in its public spaces and to shade the verandas of ground-level rooms, suites and bungalows.
It has a breakwater-protected, sandy Blue Flag beach, 393 rooms, bungalows, and suites, a number of private and sharing pools, 10 restaurants and snack venues, 6 bars, tons of aquatic activities on the beach, a fully equipped spa and gym, and loads of activities and entertainment options for grownups and kids alike.
The resort’s buildings are grouped in concentric semicircles, with the large main pool configured in a sort of keyhole scheme as its focal point. The pool is so close to the beach that it has the look of an infinity pool. Clearly visible on the horizon, about 10km offshore, is the islet of Dia, easily accessible for day trippers. The resort, large as it is, is compact and easily walkable due to its amphitheatrical layout. It has a large number of private and sharing pools, a small serpentine lagoon, and charming, tiled bungalows with parapets, giving them a sort of Cycladic-Spanish look.
Guests have a lot of good things to say about this place. Some call it “the best hotel in the world.” Others praise it for its family-friendly features, the wonderful welcome on arrival, and the beautiful and convenient location, and the wide variety of dining options. As mentioned, a lot of visitors are repeat customers, which is always an important metric when choosing a vacation destination.
Rooms are pleasantly decorated in shades of white, off-white, and crème. One interesting feature is, instead of a regular headboard for the bed, the entire wall is a sort of bas-relief concentric semi-circular design with rays projecting out toward the walls, which gives it the aspect of ancient Minoan art work. The large screen TV is fastened to the wall at the foot of the bed, which makes for convenient viewing. Flooring is marble, and furnishings are comfortably upholstered, and include such items as a double bed, a boudoir and mirror.
Rooms come with all kinds of amenities, such as coffee and tea making facilities, free beach and pool towels, complimentary mini bar, personal items such as stationary, laundry bag, sewing kit, envelopes and stationery, shoe polish and shoe horn, safe deposit box 50” HD satellite TV, scale, hair dryer, free Wi-Fi, bathroom amenities, and furnished private balcony or terrace, amongst others.
Superior Double Garden View has a double bed and a nice sitting area. The bathroom is marble-clad. The view is of the resort’s grounds, which are very well taken care-of and a pleasure to watch from your private furnished balcony.
Superior Double Sea View is the same size and layout as the Superior Double Garden View, with the significant difference of what you see when you step out on your balcony: you get a great panoramic view of the main pool, the beach, and the sea in the distance.
Superior Double Sea View Front Row is the same as the previously listed Superior Double rooms, with the added difference that it directly overlooks the beautiful Blue Flag beach.
Superior Double Superior Double Sea View (Customized for mobility needs) is unique amongst the Superior Double rooms in that it is a bit smaller than the others, but, more importantly, has made accommodations for people with mobility issues with added handle fixtures and wider doorways for wheelchair access. These rooms can be found in the Main Building, on the first floor, and are accessible via elevator. Sleeps 2 adults.
Superior Double Swim Up Sharing Pool
Superior Double Swim Up Sharing Pool Sea Front is in the front rank of buildings in the facility, with a swimming pool right at your doorstep. The pool is semi-private, and is shared by a few of your neighbors.
Superior Double Swim up Sharing Pool is similar to the Superior Double Swim up Sharing Pool Sea Front (semi-private pool shared with a few other guests) but differs from it in that it is not in the front rank of buildings, so its distance from the beach a slightly greater.
Superior Bungalow Private Courtyard
This is its own category, and is configured for small families. The terrace opens onto its own courtyard which is walled off for privacy. Courtyard if fully furnished and tastefully paved and landscaped.
Family Suites Private Courtyard is a roomy accommodation fit for a family stay which is subdivided into two sleeping areas. Veranda opens up to a private furnished and landscaped courtyard. The courtyard is un-walled and leads to a footpath connecting the suite and veranda with the public walkways and gardens of the resort.
Family Suites Swim Up Sharing Pool is divided into two sleeping areas and is similar in every way to the Family Suites Private Courtyard, except the veranda leads directly to a shared swimming pool. Since there are dividing walls between this and the neighboring units, the section of the pool between the two walls is private, and then the pool leads to a larger, rectangular swimming area that connects it and the other units.
Family Suites Two Bedroom Suite Swim up Sharing Pool is a comfortably large unit with an exposed beam ceiling. Unit is bi-level, with an interior stairway. Layout of both levels is approximately the same, with the master bedroom on the upper level. Like other swim up units, the section of the sharing pool just off the suite’s veranda is private thanks to the extending walls at either side of the veranda, and then leads to the longer, lagoon-like connecting pool common area beyond the walls.
Junior Suite Garden View varies widely in their size, so pay attention when booking them. They can be as small as 27m2 or as large as 40m2. These suites are designed for couples seeking a romantic getaway, or just some alone time together.
Junior Suite Sea View has a double bed and a great view of the beach and sea from its balcony. Breaking up the horizon is, in the distance, the islet Dia, about 10km away.
Junior Suite Swim Up Sharing Pool is perfect for couples. It’s a roomy suite full of amenities, a shaded veranda with upholstered wicker furnishings, and a delightful shared private pool right at the veranda’s edge. There’s no long walk to the main pool with this suite, because the pool has come to you.
Swim up Sharing Pool Suite is a spacious unit that offers a whole host of amenities, room to roam, and as an added bonus there is a sharing pool just off the furnished veranda. The layout is two side-by-side rooms separated by a door. 48m2 (515 sq.ft.). Sleeps 3 adults
Sea Front Sharing Pool Suite is similar to the Swim Up Sharing Pool Suite, with the added advantage of being in the front rank of the resort’s buildings, making both the sharing pool, and the beach extremely convenient.
Swim Up Private Pool Suite provides you with your own pool, in addition to all the other amenities and the roomy, two side-by-side rooms layout offered by the other suites.
This, along with the Villa Private Pool, is the largest, roomiest unit Mitsis Rinela offers. This splendid residence is a home away from home, with all kinds of rooms and features. It has 2 double beds and 2 sofa beds and comfortably sleeps 6 people. There are 2 separate bedrooms, and a furnished balcony overlooking the sharing pools.
75m2 (800 sq. ft.). Sleeps 4 adults plus 2 children
Villa Private Pool
This is it: the largest accommodation Mitsis Rinela offers. There’s a large private pool, a spacious sundeck with furnishings, sun beds and umbrellas, 3 rooms, 2 double beds, 2 sofa beds, free-standing bath tub, beamed ceilings, and tons more.
77m2 (829 sq. ft.). Sleeps 4 adults plus 2 children
Food and Drink
There are 9 food venues and 7 bars to choose from at Mitsis Rinela.
The Main Restaurant offers all-day dining, show cooking for custom meals, local and international cuisine, as well as theme nights. Food is served buffet style. The Main Restaurant serves Greek, Italian, Lebanese, Mexican, Asian and French cuisine.
The Taverna à la carte is a delightful beachside venue serving Cretan, Greek and wider Mediterranean dishes. You get a nice panoramic, appetite-inducing view of the beach and sea from its outdoor deck shaded by a wicker and palm branch pergola. Taverna à la carte also has a rich American breakfast buffet, but only for guests in Superior double sharing pool and Sea front rooms, Family two bedroom suites, Villas, Junior suites sharing pool, and Suites and Family suites.
Italian à la carte is a new restaurant at Mitsis Rinela specializing in pizzas baked to perfection, pastas, risotto, filetto di pollo, and filleto di salmon. At the same location, if you discover that you’ve slept longer than you’ve planned after a busy evening and night, you can enjoy Brunch at Italian, serving eggs Benedict, omelets, pancakes, and other breakfast far late in the morning.
Steak house à la carte is a new steak house restaurant, and is all about protein. You can indulge in such hearty fare as sirloin steak from veal calves, pork shank, burger bao-bun, and beef fillet arose.
Pan-Asian à la carte allows you to travel the Far East without moving from your table. Dining options include won-ton (China), ebi (Japan), fried jasmine rice (Thailand), chop suey (Indonesia), and oyster (Malaysia).
The Fine Italian Pizza Station is another place for Italian fare, in this case focusing on pizza baked in a traditional wood-fired oven. It’s by the beach, and a wonderful place to indulge in your favorite pizza variety whilst enjoying the sea breeze.
Beach BBQ Corner can also be found at beachside, where you can find grilled meat of every stripe, cooked according you your specific request.
The Creperie-Gelateria combines two of your favorite snack foods in one venue- crepes and ice cream. Here you can find, as well, waffles, toasted sandwiches, hot dogs, and a whole range of ice cream and sherbet.
The Café Rinela can be found in the resort’s lobby, and is there for you to enjoy hot beverages- tea, coffee and hot chocolate- as well as a whole range of alcoholic drinks- beer, cocktails, wines and spirit, as well as plenty of non-alcoholic refreshments. The view is great, the atmosphere is friendly, and you may even make some new friends.
The Lounge Bar is in the Main Building across from the hotel’s Reception Area, and is the hub of most of the activity at Mitsis Rinela. There is a wide range of liquid refreshment on offer, as well as the quiet stylings of live music in the background. The views are great, the drinks are lovely, the music is relaxing, and the people watching is second to none.
The Pool Bar gives you shade from the brilliant sun, the calming, relaxing effect of the blue waters of the pool, and the refreshing breeze coming in off the nearby Sea of Crete.
The All-Day Outdoor Theatre Bar is set in the well-tended gardens, close to the beach, and is where you go to be entertained by live bands, magician acts, even acrobatics as you sip your favorite beverage.
The Wine Bar is for grown-ups only, and offers, in addition to a tremendous selection of local and imported vintages, sushi snacks, cold cuts, and chesses.
Mitsis Rinela’s Beach Bar is where you go when you want a break from working on your tan, or maybe you can stay put in your sun bed and order a beverage to sip in the shade of your umbrella.
The Secret Bar is tucked away amongst the Superior Suites, Family Suites and Villas. The bar’s attendants are happy to bring whatever you desire to poolside.
Spa and Wellness
Mitsis Rinela’s Zeen Spa is a beautifully designed facility offering an indoor swimming pool, a whirlpool spa, a Turkish bath (hammam) and a whole range of body and face treatments as well as manicures and pedicures.
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 a whole bunch of activities available for those of you who don’t want to just sit around in the sun your entire vacation. In addition to the 2 outdoor pools, there is a tennis court with equipment, aerobic and water aerobic lessons, free art lessons, beach volley, play room with electronic games, adults-only section on the beach, table tennis, and free sun beds and umbrellas. For an extra charge you can rent a banana boat, go jet skiing, do parasailing, and enjoy the water sports center.
Entertainment options include daily live music, as well as DJs, at the main bar, daily and nightly entertainment from 3 recreation teams, professional dancing, a magician, acrobats, community events, educational visits, and day trips.
Fun for Kids
Kids will have a lot of fun at Mitsis Rinela, beginning with the beach, which has lots of soft sand, and a gentle grade as you enter the water, so there are no sudden drop-off. There’s also a trained life guard on duty to keep an eye on things. The beach also has a playground area. To carry on the theme of fun in the water, there are two children’s freshwater pools and two waterslides. There is a Mini-Club for those 4-7 years old, a Junior Club for 8-11 year olds, and a Teens Club for 12-16 year olds.
There is a Games Room (extra charge) for teens, and recreation programmes, as well as a children’s disco.
In the Area
Just a few km to the west is the fascinating capital city of Heraklion, which has a fantastic archeological museum and natural history museum, a beautiful harbor and Old Town, as well as a 16th century Venetian fortress. Near Heraklion is the Palace of Knossos, 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 10km east of Mitsis Rinela.
If it’s night life you’re seeking, Malia is about 20km 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.
While Hersonissos (10km to the east) 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.
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 Rinela. 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 Rinela which will enrich your stay at the resort.
Kokkini Hani 715 00, Crete
(+30) 28107 617-13
Book your stay directly from the official website of Mitsis Rinela 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 Rinela. Applies to any additional offers.