Crete is the word: finding a new happy place at Wyndham Grand Mirabello

Last updated 8th July 2024

Crete holds a special significance for Lisa McGarry: but a trip to Wyndham Grand Crete Mirabello Bay added a whole new dimension to the term ‘happy place’ during a joyful family holiday.


Paddleboarding, Wyndham Grand Crete Mirabello Bay

Crete holiday memories made more magical at Mirabello Bay

Crete is a special island for me and my family. It’s where my mum took me aged six, on our first single parent holiday – I learned to swim in the pool, and made my first holiday friend. It’s also where I took my son in 2020, on another single parent holiday: we wore masks at Knossos, and swam in the sea during pinky-gold sunsets. Crete is a meaningful destination for us in every way – but Wyndham Grand Mirabello in Agios Nikolaos took meaningful to a whole new level, inspiring us and making us feel incredibly cared for in a truly beautiful place. Never has relaxation and indulgence felt so refreshing!


Pool and private beach, Wyndham Grand Crete Mirabello Bay

Inclusive in every way on a luxury Crete holiday

The Mirabello knows exactly what it’s doing, and has hospitality down to a fine art. It helps that its location is pretty near perfect, scoring a 9.7 on – sitting directly on two beautiful private beaches, with views across the Aegean, a place to sit and dream for days with that Grecian beach magic.

The complex itself occupies a sprawling space surrounded by terraces and gardens, flanked by the main hotel building and villa village. It’s tasteful, luxurious, and supremely relaxing from the second you step into reception and inhale the gorgeous bespoke scent. One thing we especially loved is that it feels very inclusive, whether you’re a family, couple, or group of friends – there’s an adults-only and a kids’ pool, but the sprawling pool with swim-up bar is a place for everyone to mix, which they do – with huge bed loungers like little islands, and Aperol Spritz just a breaststroke away. This spot epitomised the fabulousness of our most luxurious Crete holiday to date, setting a very high bar (not the pool bar, which was the perfect height).

Getting around is easy, and the attractions make it even easier

While the Mirabello is a large resort, the main draws are not a hike – you can go from beach to pool in a couple of minutes, and most of the restaurants are around the area leading to these, with the entertainment stage, Beach Grill and watersports down the other end. The villa village, separate from the main building, is connected by a bridge and a hill – but it’s only a five-minute walk, or buggy ride from reception. There’s a great souvenir/grocery shop over the road, and the waterpark is just behind it, near the spa and gym – as well as a spacious kids’ playground and private marina.


Waterpark, Wyndham Grand Crete Mirabello Bay

Get wet and wild at Wyndham Mirabello

We loved the waterpark – it was surprisingly elegant, and had some seriously fun slides, as well as great splash areas for littler kids. It’s a nice place to just hang out and have an iced coffee, but better to release your inner Napoleon from Bill & Ted and get involved. Then there’s all the water sports – during our stay we went paddleboarding, kayaking, and were towed on an exhilarating inflatable couch ride by speedboat (they may have heard our screams in Elounda).

We also went by skippered speedboat on a two-hour trip past the medieval fortress island of Spinalonga, a stunning sight, and moored for a delicious swim in balmy waters. The water sports are payable, but prices are decent – €25 per person for the towables, €25 per hour for a kayak/€30 paddleboard, and €220 per hour for the speedboat, which can take six passengers.


Elia Restaurant, Wyndham Grand Crete Mirabello Bay

Incredible food makes for an incredible Crete holiday

This was the first time I’d stayed at a hotel with its own in-house bakery, where even the breadsticks were a thing of beauty, and it hopefully won’t be the last. Every meal was memorable, beautifully presented, and dinners were accompanied by some wonderful Greek wine. The main restaurant, Amalthea, is where you’ll find a quality buffet, perfect for picky eaters and the more adventurous, and the sea views gave it that extra chef’s kiss.

We also enjoyed several of the hotel’s à la carte restaurants, including the Bay Grill & Bar, Italian themed Elia, and Kafenion, where we experienced traditional Cretan dancing.

If you’re staying all-inclusive, your package includes 1-3 à la carte meals weekly. There’s no need to get bored of the food here, and we didn’t think about heading outside. There’s also a late continental breakfast option, served poolside at the Sip N’ Dip Pool or Elia, in case anyone needs a lie-in – but we never skip breakfast, so made sure we were up and about to enjoy the views with our coffee each day.


View from 2-bedroom villa with private pool

A pool of one’s own, in rooms designed for style and comfort

We stayed in a 2-bedroom maisonette with sea view and private pool on our Crete holiday, in the village section of the resort. We couldn’t have asked for more. The rooms were light and luxurious, with little touches like a magnified mirror in the bathroom, and a minibar stocked with soft drinks (the fizzy ones in glass bottles for proper On Holiday vibes). We used the private pool, and really appreciated it, especially the view – but with so many great pools and the waterpark, you could easily do without. We loved having it and a lovely terrace, though, and had ample space to spread out inside the villa and enjoy the aircon. The beds were incredibly comfortable, and waking up to the Aegean was a delight.


Movie nights over the Aegean Sea, Wyndham Grand Crete Mirabello Bay

Kids are alright at the Mirabello, and so are the grown-ups

Kids have a great time at the Mirabello, and the nightly disco was the coolest – with banging versions of pop songs and high-octane hosts – Crete holiday goals. There’s a rotation of entertainment throughout the week: magic shows, dance shows (Latin, Greek, Vegas), and movies screened against the backdrop of the sea. There are also morning and afternoon Kids’ Club sessions, and separate football training sessions, and a variety of exercise classes for the adults – like early morning workouts, yoga and pilates, and even spin class – some carry an extra charge, but worth it to work off all that Dakos.

This is a very active resort, but no-one would judge you for taking it easy – the beauty of the Mirabello is that you can do both, and still come away feeling like you’ve spent a week at a spa. That’s Crete for you… and that’s definitely the Wyndham Mirabello.

How to plan this Crete holiday

How to get there

Direct UK flights to Crete take from 3 hours, 45 minutes

Wyndham Mirabello is a 50-minute drive east of Heraklion Airport

The Wyndham Mirabello Family Experience Package

Available on all family accommodation for stays of 4 nights or more and includes:

Welcome gift for children

Free snacks and refreshments during the day

Free accommodation for kids (up to 12 years) sharing parents’ room

Free use of the Water Park

Free use of Kids Club

Deluxe Room with Garden View on B&B basis from £189 per night

Offer ends 31 October 2024

Find out more and book here