family hotel in crete with pool the mitsis rinela

Mitsis Rinela, The Best Family Hotel, Crete

We recently stayed at the stunning Mitsis Rinela Beach Resort near Heraklion. We wanted a real treat after a couple of years of disrupted travel and that’s precisely what we got. It’s a luxurious all inclusive hotel with plenty of family friendly features thrown in. So if you’re looking for the best family hotel, Crete read on to discover why I recommend the Mitsis.

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I’ve included a lot of detail in this post on the best family hotel, Crete so if there is something particular you would like to know just click through to the list of contents below.

sunset view of the balcony at the mitsis rinela hotel in crete

The Hotel

From the moment you walk into the reception area of the Mitsis Rinela you’ll be blown away by the beautiful decor. I love how the whole hotel is designed. It feels calm yet somehow opulent with all white walls, rattan touches and contemporary features.

outdoor dining area with comfy cusions and turquoise accents at a hotel in crete

The resort is pretty big and sprawls over several levels with the main pool at the centre. Every part feels expensive and welcoming apart from the reception area and bar which is probably in need of a re vamp to bring it in line with the rest of the hotel.

young girl in red dress on a beautiful rattan chair outdoors looking at her phone

The Pools at the Mitsis Rinela

When hunting for the best family hotel in Crete you’re going to place heavy emphasis on pools. This is where most kids will spend their time on holiday. The Mitsis has several pools to keep little ones entertained all day. The main pool is where you’ll find the pool bar for drinks and a separate snack station for lunch, ice creams and freshly cooked pancakes. There are lots of loungers around the pool although we did at times struggle to find a free one. You can always grab extra pool or beach towels here.

There is another pool down by the beach which has a small slide. All the kids absolutely loved this one and it’s fairly close to the beach BBQ and pizza station for those all important snacks.

kids pool at hotel with a yellow tube slide

There are many rooms with private pools. Even though they are all a lot smaller and not private, these at least guarantee your own sun lounger.

swim up hotel rooms in crete

None of the pools are heated which was a bit disappointing as they were freezing when the weather wasn’t great. I’m sure this wouldn’t be a problem over the summer months as temperatures in Crete skyrocket.

comfortable wooden pool recliners under a grey sky

Mitsis Rinela All Inclusive Package

We’re not massive fans of all inclusive hotels, we like to get out and explore and eat and drink at local restaurants. Although the all inclusive package here might have just changed my mind. Food and drink was extremely good quality throughout. The many restaurants and bars all served high quality meals and plenty of drinks.

But it’s not only food and drink that is included in your stay, they have catered for every need imaginable with entertainment, sports and plenty of additional treats. You’ll be given a wrist band when you check in to easily show you are staying at the hotel so make sure to keep it on during your stay.

piper quinn wearing a green dress posing at sunset in a hotel in crete

The private beach for this resort in Crete

The Hotel has its own private stretch of sand for afternoons away from the pool. It’s packed tightly with comfortable recliners, beanbags and flat beds with plenty of shaded areas.

beach recliners, palm parasols and bean bags on a beach in crete

The sea was freezing during our visit although we did manage a couple of swims and wave jumping sessions. It never felt busy on the beach which was a relief from the more popular pool area.

young girl playing on the beach in crete

You’ll find a lovely little beach bar on the sand which served slushies, cold beer, wine, cocktails and soft drinks.

shaded seating area on a beach in crete

If you can make it down to the beach at the end of the day the sunsets can be absolutely stunning!

view on sunset going down over a beach in crete

The rooms at the Mitsis Rinela

There are so many different types of room at the Mitsis Rinela it can feel a bit overwhelming which one would suit you best. Most are large enough to fit a family of three or four. They have large double beds and smaller fold out beds for the kids.

piper quin lying on a bed with white linen and a white white mosiac

We opted for a superior bungalow with a private courtyard. Although the garden area wasn’t hidden it was nice to be able to sit out in our own space.

garden room garden area at mitsis rinela

The decor was stunning, bright and contemporary with beautiful design features. I loved the textured wall above the main bed and hanging lamps and comfy chair.

beige chair with tropical cushion on

The bathroom is plenty big enough with a massive walk in shower and shelves for storage. The complimentary toiletries smelled lovely and were replenished each day.

bathroom sink and stand up walk in shower

The room has plenty of storage space with wide wardrobes although very few drawers. Here you’ll find robes and a safe for your valuables. Plus a tea and coffee station.

small extra bed with white linen

As this is a luxurious all inclusive hotel, everything in the mini dar is free. Yes free, it’s amazing! This includes both alcoholic and soft drinks. On arrival it was stocked with a full sized bottle of cava, half sized bottles of wine, beers and cans of pop. It was replenished every morning.

hotel mini bar full of drinks

Have a look on Booking for other room options at the Mitsis Rinela. There are loads to choose from from basic rooms with sofa beds for the kids all the way up to spacious villas with private pools.

private villa room with pool

If we could pick again, I would definitely opt for one with a lovely hammock in the garden.

hammock outside a luxurious hotel room at the mitsis rinela
How gorgeous is this?!

But the rooms with shared pools also looked pretty tempting!

rooms with shared private pools at the mitsis rinela

Family friendly restaurants at the Mitsis Rinela

You have so many options for eating at the Mitsis Rinela. All of them are very family friendly. The main restaurant is located by the reception area and serves a huge buffet each night. They have a couple of specials each night such as roast lamb or seafood but also all the usual favourites like pasta, salads and cooked meat.

They also had a brilliant selection of desserts which were so beautifully presented even I couldn’t resist! The main restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Piper loved this restaurant as she is a big fan of buffet eating but it was our least favourite. It was often busy with queues out the door at popular times and staff seemed pretty frazzled.

round table with modern chairs in front of a large glass wall

The Mitsis has several al a carte restaurants which are included in your package. We managed to try them all apart from the Asian restaurant. Menus are a lot smaller in the a la carte restaurants but you should be able to find something to suit everyone.

Top Tip: Book your tables at these restaurants as soon as you’ve booked your hotel stay. Tables get reserved pretty fast and it would be such a shame to miss out. You can do this on their website easily enough. If you don’t know your reservation number just email the concierge and they will let you know.

The Greek Taverna

This was probably the best restaurant in the Mitsis Rinela for views. It’s located just above the sea front and has wide windows which are raised during good weather so you can gaze out to sea.

contemporary greek taverna at mitsis rinela hotel in crete

As you would expect, this place serves traditional Greek food. This is one of the reasons you came right? We enjoyed the most amazing grilled fish and shellfish and Piper was able to order some very kid friendly chicken goujons.

coloutful plate of grilled fish with half a lemon and roasted potatoes

The deconstructed desserts were delicious as was the wine selection on offer. Service was slow and relaxed and most of all it was lovely not to have to jostle with other guests at the buffet bars.

dessert from greek taverna

If you can get the timing right then this is one of the best places in the hotel to watch the sun set over the beach. Dinner is served between 18.30 and 22.00 or you can book yourself in for lunch.

view out to the beach at the mitsis rinela

The Italian Restaurant

The Italian restaurant at the Mitsis is located in the same building as the Steak House. It serves delicious pasta, risottos and pizzas. Piper was in heaven here as she could eat spaghetti every single day! Decor is colourful and contemporary and the open kitchen made it fun as kids can watch the chefs prepare their food.

stack of mozzarella cheese and fresh red tomato slices on a blue plate drizzled in pesto oil

We loved the super crisp salads and freshly made pasta with ragu sauce. And I highly recommend the bread and cheese starter plate – just delish!

rectangular blue plate with fresh tagliateli pasta and ragu sauce

The desserts again were delicious and we all polished off the lot!

The Steak House

We’re big steak fans but I have to admit that the food at the steak house was my least favourite. Although still very much worth a visit. The steaks were huge but a little bit chewy, even though we opted for medium rare.

large steak with pink middle on a green plate

Again the puddings were amazing and I finished it all even though I don’t have a particularly sweet tooth.

The decor is nice and bright and the service very much un-rushed which made for a nice, relaxing meal.

steak house restaurant at mitsis rinela with an open kitchen

Other dining options at the Mitsis Rinela

Whilst you’re staying at the Mitsis, make sure you book yourselves in for brunch at least once. We managed to get into the Italian restaurant and it was absolutely amazing.

The menu has all your favourite brunch specials with options like Eggs Benedict and freshly cooked omelettes.

rectangular plate with small salad and slice of toast with ham, eggs, parmesan and eggs benedict sauce

For those with a sweet tooth there are pancakes and waffles which come beautifully presented and are absolutely huge.

huge stack og pancakes drizzled with chocolate sauce, shavins and strawberry pieces

If you’re trying to be healthy there’s fruit, granola and smoothies. We opted for a bloody Mary and a Bellini alongside our coffee as a treat.

It was a slow and relaxed experience and made a lovely break from the main buffet restaurant.

Obviously you’re not going to want full meals three times a day every day. Don’t worry, there are plenty of lighter options available all day. One of the most popular places for lunch is around the pool. The food hut next to the main pool offers freshly made pancakes and waffles, delicious ice creams and the prettiest patisserie style sweet treats. They also do a section of sandwiches which were all yummy.

If you head down towards the beach you’ll find an Italian pizza station where you can order any type freshly cooked in the pizza oven. This was great as Piper doesn’t eat cheese, she was over the moon to be able to order a pizza base just with tomato sauce and toppings. You can also pick up a bowl of salad here.

open pizza station with a chef preparing dough in front of a large pizza oven

Near the pizza station is the beach BBQ which is a meat lovers dream. We were able to order gyros and souvlaki and super sweet cooked corn on the cob.

Breakfast at the Mitsis Rinela

Breakfast is taken in the main restaurant next to reception. It is open from 7am until 10.30 but I recommend getting there early or late as queues can be pretty big. It’s also open from 4am for a light continental breakfast, ideal if you have an early flight or are particularly jet lagged.

baskets of different types of bread at all inclusive hotel buffet

There’s a huge selection available with a fresh egg station and plenty of cooked meats. I loved the wide variety of fruit and fresh bread available and of course Piper loved the selection of breakfast cookies and cakes.

Bars at the Mitsis Rinela

You’ll find plenty of places for a drink at the hotel. Even though it’s all inclusive there’s no watered down spirits or random brands in sight. I loved their cocktail menu and became quite partial to an afternoon bellini during our stay – we were on holiday after all.

cocktail in large wine glass

The main bar is located next to reception and whilst the indoor area isn’t much to look at, the outdoor space was stunning with plenty of rattan furniture and gorgeous views across the pool out to sea. There’s also a small firepit area for when it’s a bit colder or just to add ambience to your evening entertainment. This was our favourite place for a game or UNO or 21s before bed.

outside bar seating area with modern furniture and the sun setting behind

You’ll also find a small bar by the main pool which is open during pool hours. This is a good place to grab a beer or soft drink for the kids to enjoy round the pool.

pool bar with a few tables and chairs at the mitsis rinela main pool

The theatre bar is another great one for views with glass sides looking out to sea. This is very popular with families in the evenings as it where the kids entertainment is located. This is my favourite spot for a coffee in the morning to watch the waves rolling in.

outdoor bar with relaxwed seating and a wooded covered area looking out to sea

Finally we found a lovely little bar down on the beach, again they have refreshing cold beers, cocktails and slushies for the little ones.

small shack on the beach housing a bar area

Special features for kids at the Mitsis

This hotel is a great option if you’re looking for hotels with a kids club in Crete. The Rinela offers a kids club service for children aged four all the way up to sixteen years old – obviously the activities offered are different and age appropriate. It has a small outdoor play area and plenty of cool indoor space. There’s another playground on the beach so you can relax on a lounger while the kids have fun playing.

There’s also a games room under the hotel with arcade style machines and an air hockey table. This seemed to be the only part of the hotel you actually had to pay more for.

There are movies or family friendly entertainment in the theatre bar each night where you can also grab a candyfloss or bag of popcorn. Another brilliant kid friendly extra which is why I think this is the best family hotel Crete has.

piper quinn eating a huge candy floss

Sports at this Crete hotel

If you fancy staying active during your visit then there is heaps to do at the Mitsis Rinela. There are two tennis courts available to use and you can borrow rackets from reception. There’s table tennis with regular competitions in the theatre bar, darts, beach volley ball and water aerobics.

And if thats not enough there are plenty of watersports available including canoeing, paragliding, pedal boats and water-skiing. You’ll just have to pay a small extra charge.

Family friendly entertainment at the hotel

Each evening there is family friendly entertainment in the theatre bar to keep the kids happy. This ranges from magic shows, acrobats, singing, dancing to mini discos. The kids all loved it and it was a brilliant place for Piper to make some new friends.

magic show at family friendly hotel in crete

Most evenings there was also a singer, DJ or live band in the main bar.

What to do around this hotel in Crete

I’ll hazard a guess that during your stay at the the Mitsis you won’t want to leave the hotel and I really can’t say I blame you. But it is worth getting out a bit to explore the rest of Crete. As the hotel is located so close to Heraklion, make sure you visit this historic city. Whilst you’re there, schedule a Palace of Knossos visit, it’s the origin of the Greek Minotaur myth and has some fascinating ruins and frescoes.

famous image of knossos palace with red pillars

There are plenty of towns you’ll want to visit in Crete, the architecture and atmosphere is amazing. If you have a hire car then it’s easy to pop into Heraklion Town to visit its ancient fort and explore the charming market square.

Wifi at the Mitsis Rinela

This was one of the few things we were disappointed with at this family hotel in Crete. The Wifi in our room was absolutely terrible. We contacted reception several times and, although they advised a couple of fixes it didn’t really work throughout our stay. We also couldn’t get a strong 3G signal. Mr AWTYK had to attend a few work zoom meetings in public areas which was not ideal and staff weren’t that helpful to resolve it. We just gave up in the end and downloaded what we needed when we were out and about. I overheard other guests complaining about this so I don’t think it’s an issue restricted to the garden bungalows.

Top Tip: Wifi in most common areas was ok but even that went down a few times. Don’t let this put you off booking, have a break from the socials in your room and download anything you or the kids might want to watch when you can.

young girl on a pink blow up floating ring in a bright blue hotel pool

How to get to the Mitsis Rinela

The closest airport to this luxury hotel in Crete is Heraklion International. It’s well served from all over the world and there are plenty of places around the airport to pick up a hire car. To reach the hotel you’ll need to take the E75 East or the slightly slower but more scenic 90 beach road. It should only take around 15 minutes. If you don’t fancy driving then a taxi should cost you less than €30.

Check for cheap flights to Heraklion on Skyscanner.

The Staff at the Mitsis Rinela

Whilst the staff at the Mitsis were nice enough, this was one of the few let downs in the hotel. They were often a bit slow to respond to problems and were rather brisk in their approach. The hotel felt a little understaffed especially in busy areas of the resort and were not fully knowledgeable. I imagine these were just teething issues as the hotel had only just opened for the season.

modern outdoors of luxury family hotel in crete

Final thoughts on the best family hotel, Crete

We had an absolutely amazing time staying at the Mitsis Rinela. The all inclusive package and A La Carte restaurants made our stay absolutely seamless and the beautiful features all over the resort felt completely luxurious. If you’d like to read more reviews you can check them out on Tripadvisor.

rows of beach recliners with palm parasols

What is your favourite family hotel in Crete? Let me know in the comments.

Another great all inclusive hotel we tried in Greece is over on the main land. You can read my review of the Acrotel Athena Pallas Hotel in Halkidiki to discover more. Then head over to my top 6 things to do in Halkidiki to find out how to spend your time.

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