We stayed here for two nights, 24 and 25 December. Mainly this was to provide a romantic Christmas to our fortnight's holiday in Crete, somewhere where there was a restaurant serving meals and away from the coastal resorts.
We had to change our dates twice after our original booking, but this was fine and we got confirmation of the changes. We are also vegetarian and - as is common in Crete - this was no problem for the restaurant, although they also serve good meat and fish dishes, all using locally-sourced food.
The room was lovely with a great shower cut right out of the rock. All the rooms have a wood-fire hearth which is made up for you and very easy to light (using bracken as tinder), even if you aren't used to this. There's also central heating, provided using an external wood-burning boiler (this means that we had hot water for showers, unlike at a lot of other places during low season where they can't run the coal-fired hot water system for an entire hotel just for two guests), and electric lighting. They'll also allow you to charge up your phones and cameras in the restaurant if you ask - but do yourselves a favour and turn your phones off while here to enjoy the tranquility.
A number of reviews have commented on the "scary drive" up into the mountains. I'm not the most confident of drivers (I never drive to work) and suffer from vertigo, but I managed four trips along the road perfectly well - the gravel is to make it safer in wet or cold conditions. It's single-track for much of it, but there are passing places and you can see a good way ahead most of the time. It's no worse than most of the country mountain roads, or many of the smaller coastal roads. Actually, it's vastly preferable to driving through most Cretan towns and villages - no sudden alleys full of parked cars with other vehicles hurtling along in the middle of the road. Just take it slowly and enjoy the view. I'd suggest that you aim to get there well before dark, simply because Cretan signposting is generally as useful as a chocolate teapot, although Milia is well-signposted from the village of Vlatos. If you take the road from Kastelli, follow the signs to Elafonisissos - you have to take a right-hand turn at Kaloudiana which isn't very obvious. You go past the Agia Sofia cave (itself well worth a short stop), then turn right towards Vlatos and follow the signposted turn to the right at the far end of the village. Watch out for pot holes at the start of this road. Take your time and enjoy the scenery.
This place was everything we expected and much more. If you can, plan to leave the car and go walking - they can provide good maps and even arrange return taxis. There's plenty of opportunity to meet other guests, but you're always able to retreat to your own "cottage" if you prefer. And the food is wonderful.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- An abandoned Medieval Settlement has been transformed into a mountain Eco Retreat with 10 guest houses.A restaurant with local organic produce is working daily for residents or for day visitors. The operation is all year round. The Mountain Retreat keep all the farming activities as was in the past offering also very quiet and tranquil vacations and mountain hikes just on your door step. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Milia Hotel Chania Prefecture