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“Off the beaten track, comfy beds, not as tranquil as expected, great food, great for walks”

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Milia Mountain Retreat
Certificate of Excellence
Leeds, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
82 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
“Off the beaten track, comfy beds, not as tranquil as expected, great food, great for walks”
Reviewed February 24, 2014

Stayed at Milia Mountain Retreat for a week late October 2013. Its a scary drive down to the village so we ate here every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner in the evening. (Yes, the drive really was a challenge in our rubbish old rental car and put us off from exploring further afield!)

The village is unique, all of the rooms are very different and have outside terraces and areas for you to sit and relax.The accommodation is clean and comfortable and has central heating radiators and some electric lighting. You can charge electrical devices in the restaurant. The beds are extremely comfortable (cocomat eco friendly).

The smell of the woodsmoke is wonderful (the burner heats the water for the showers and the heating in the rooms - we had cold water only for a few days because they forgot to add wood to the fire). The views are gorgeous out across the valley. There are plenty of places to walk and you don't see another person all day, just lots of goats, birds, even badgers! The maps provided are difficult to understand - our recommendation is to set off in the general direction then just keep your eyes peeled for a red or yellow painted arrow on a rock or a wall (or a blue one, sometimes they run out of paint ;) ....)

The food is local, traditional cretan fare, delicious. Breakfast was a bit disorganised - when something had run out they didn't always have more to put out (that's fine for the fresh things but not acceptable to run out of boxed breakfast cereals or eggs). The mountain tea was particularly appreciated.

We went for a week to de-stress in peace and quiet. Unfortunately there was a large group of several families who arrived together with a lot of children under 6 years old who were allowed to run amok without regard for other guests (I know that makes me sound like an old spoilsport but these kids were REALLY loud, largely unsupervised by the adults in their group and behaved like little brats - I love kids, I believe in them having fun and space to explore, play, be free but these lot were unruly and put us off our dinner in the restaurant some nights!)

Loved our visit but I wouldn't stay again for a whole week - three days was quite enough, mainly because there is enough to enjoy right there in the mountain for three days but it isn't a good base to explore the area. We visited Elafonissi which isn't far but took several hours to drive to because of the terrain.

Room Tip: every room is unique, they are all quiet (other reviewers comments about the road are silly - cars a...
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank jakkisr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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235 reviews from our community

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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (35)
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English first
Hexham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
15 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed January 5, 2014

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.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Milton G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kavousi ,Crete
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed December 23, 2013

This is our second trip to Milia, but my first review. I can't say enough good things about this place. Environmentally friendly, beautiful location, friendly staff, and great locally raised food at their charming restaurant. The comfy traditional houses are warm and toasty in the winter, which by the way is my favorite time of year to visit. You won't be disappointed!

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Douglaspaul65
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cardiff, Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed December 11, 2013

Wonderful retreat in an ancient village. The stone cottages were charming with lots of privacy to just enjoy nature and read a good book. Trekking in the hills nearby and enjoying the beautiful vistas of the countryside was outstanding. We were taught Cretan cuisine with lots of laughs in learning the techniques and enjoying the healthy benefits of their fresh food,
Our late candlelit dinners in the warmth of their restaurant concluded our days and became the highlight to each day's experience. Hospitality reigned with all the staff and especially Tassos our host and owner of this unique place. I will visit again and stay longer.

Room Tip: The stone cottages were all lovely. I stayed on one where it was quite private down the road, from...
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank paudashlake
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Athens, Greece
Level Contributor
34 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed November 23, 2013

Fairytale beauty, created from the same stuff as my fairytale childhood world. Hidden in the wilderness, stone everywhere, fallen leaves, the smell of fireplaces, real candle-light dinners in complete darkness (save for the light and heat of the fireplace of course), food which defies saturation. Excellent quality sleep (not just the air and the warmth, but also the quality of the bedding itself and the linen), you wish you could stay in bed and look outside the window forever (but the temptation of breakfast is too great).
My fourth visit was as special as all the previous ones, as Milia becomes better and better, keeping all its magic intact.
Love it, just simply, really, honestly, love it!
PS. Bravo George, Iakovos and Team!

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Daphne M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed November 9, 2013

I brought a small group tour to Milia for a little hiking and a lot of cooking. What a wonderful experience for everyone involved. You really get to know each other when you start cooking together. Our food was nowhere near as good as what came out of their kitchen. The rooms were all different and all stone. The owner, Tassos, was charming and very helpful with everything. The entire staff was excellent. A great visit and I will return.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank gerry278
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Antwerp, Belgium
Level Contributor
14 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed November 8, 2013

We stayed at Milia expecting a healthy and enjoyable experience. The area is beautiful, the hikes were wonderful (even in November rains!), but the kitchen was the stand-out part of our stay. Every thing we ordered was 10/10 amazing. We ate 8 meals at Milia and were smiling and bouncing around after each one. We even were invited to help the chef prepare dinner (and got to learn the recipes). If you're in Crete, have a rental car, and love food, you would be remiss to not go here.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank zackk7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Milia Mountain Retreat

Property: Milia Mountain Retreat
Address: Milia | Milia -Kissamos - Hania - Crete, Milia, Crete 73012, Greece
Location: Greece > Crete > Chania Prefecture > Milia
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Specialty Lodging in Milia
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Milia Mountain Retreat 2.5*
Number of rooms: 10
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

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