Here is a useful guide, written by one of our long time guests, on how to book your first holiday at the Mistral


Phil McGrath, 11th March 2024

So you’ve been following the posts on the Mistral’s Facebook page for a while now.  You know the ones I’m talking about…

“Still plucking up the courage to book”
“I’m worried I’m not going to fit in.”
“It’s my first time travelling alone and I’m quite nervous about it.”
If you’ve read all the replies, you’re probably wondering (a) if a hotel can really be that good, and (b) can other guests really be that helpful and friendly?  The answer is a resounding “yes” on both counts.


Okay, so it’s not Claridge’s.  For one thing, as far as I know Claridge’s doesn’t have views of the Aegean, but it is a lovely little hotel run by a lovely family who treat their guests as family.  Are the guests really that friendly?  Absolutely!  It’s like there’s this unwritten rule that first timers will be welcomed just as we were welcomed on our first visit.


Concerned about eating alone?  Don’t be.  We eat traditional Cretan home cooking communally at two long tables. Specific dietary requirements are catered for too.  Complimentary red and white wine is served in carafes and included with the evening meal, and a selection of coffees and teas are available at the end of dinner.


Okay, so now you’ve decided to go; it’s time to pick your dates. First timers often book a week for their first visit and more often than not regret not booking two or more when it’s time to depart.  Be warned, tears are often shed on departure.

As you have probably read elsewhere, the hotel provides free airport transfers on Tuesdays.  Why Tuesdays? I hear you ask.  Well, apparently there are, or used to be, more flights in and out of Chania on Tuesdays.  Now, because most people arrive on Tuesdays, you are more likely to meet other guests before you even get to the hotel, perhaps in the Arrival Hall or on the transfer.


You might even be able to arrange to fly with another guest who’s going at the same time on the same flight; more on that later.  If Tuesdays don’t suit, you can still arrange a taxi through the hotel*.  It will be no more expensive than organising your own, but it’s recommended so that the hotel will know when to expect you.  Keep an eye out for transfer and other special offers too.

Having picked your dates, email or phone the hotel and give them your dates together with any room preferences (eg standard / deluxe, front / back room etc) and / or questions (eg difference between front and back rooms, how to pay deposit / balance etc).  Assuming they have a vacancy, they will ‘pencil you in’ while you book your flights.

I use aggregator websites (eg Skyscanner) to look for flights, but I book them through the airline’s own website.  The price may be different, probably a little higher, but I’ve been caught by these aggregator websites before (eg extra charges at the airport, and a nightmare to alter if circumstances change).  Once your flights are booked, let the Mistral know and they will confirm your booking and you can arrange payment of the deposit.


Once your booking is confirmed, post your dates and where you’re flying from on the Mistral Facebook group and ask if anyone else is going at the same time.  You might just find someone who’s going on the same flight and/or others who are arriving the same day and/or, at the very least, those who will be there at the same time as you and will offer to meet you at the bar.

Last but not least, pack your bag the day before, get to the airport nice and early so you don’t have to rush, enjoy the flight, and brace yourself for the week or two in your life when you’re a part of something very special.

We’ll see you at pre-dinner drinks, if not earlier.


*When Phil wrote this blog piece he wasn’t aware that Adonis is now offering to ‘go halvsies’ on the cost of any taxis to and from the airport on any day other than Tuesdays (when our free transfer runs). That means the most you will pay is 50% of the fare – or around €25. If, when you contact us with your flight details, we can pair you with other guests arriving at the same time, so your cost will be even lower. We do everything we can to keep your holiday costs down.

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