Ikos Resorts in Greece Continue To Lead The Quiet Revolution For All-Inclusive Hotels
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Ikos Oceania Lobby
Ikos resorts are at the forefront of the new thinking, and is leading the way with its ‘pre-paid-luxury’ approach to holidaying. Taking the practical benefits of the all-inclusive (let’s face it, it IS great for families who have the freedom and relief – of knowing that those extra drinks and ice-creams have already been paid for) and marrying its offering with all the elements of a luxury holiday (fine dining being a real focus), these 5 star resorts are making huge strides in sewing up the top-end of this market.
In 2015, Ikos opened Ikos Olivia, and 3 more resorts have opened in Greece, with the 5th to open next month in Andalucia. Each resort comes with a private secluded beach, several pools for you to choose from and acres of landscaped gardens for you to explore.
The resorts are focused on families, as well as couples. The good news is that doesn’t that mean style has been skimped on: décor is crisp and elegant with pretty bedside chandeliers, smart velvet headboards and luxurious bedlinens – all tied together with a subtle Aegean blue and white palette throughout (echoing the classic colours of Greece) and light-drenched spaces. Banks of wardrobes give tons of storage space and are super-practical for family stays (meaning all clothes can be hung up and clutter stored away). Large statement mirrors, glass dressing tables and decorative side lamps give a layer of personality. Bathrooms, meanwhile, are luxurious with double sinks, rain showers and Anne Semonin toiletries.
Let me talk more about Ikos Oceania in Greece. When you first arrive, you immediately get a sense of what is to come. The scene is set in the vast lobby area, which also houses the Indigo Bar. Low-hanging copper pendants reside over the long marble bar, while cornflower-blue egg-shaped chairs and coffee tables – some made out of resin-finished tree stumps – give an urban feel to the space. Opening out to a terrace area – with views over the ocean – this is just the place for an early-morning coffee before a dip in the infinity pool – actually there are three infinity pools, so you’ll be spoilt for choice.
Ikos Oceania Fresco Restaurant
With a focus on fine dining, the hotel’s ‘Infinite Lifestyle’ all-inclusive concept comes into its own across the four à la carte restaurants, which all offer menus designed by Michelin-starred chefs (to name a few: Lefteris Lazarou, Ettore Botrini and Chef Thiou to name a few), stylish dining rooms and slick service.
Ikos Oceania Ouzo Restaurant
The all-white, glass-walled Ouzo restaurant, with potted lemon and olive trees, for instance, has traditional Greek dishes designed by Lefteris Lazarou. With a focus on freshly-caught fish and classic Greek recipes – the standout dishes here include ‘Shrimps Saganaki cooked with Limnio Wine, Baked Tomato and Estragon’, ‘Octopus cooked with Onions Confit and Fava’, and the signature dish ‘Lamb Kleftiko with Potato Puree’, which is cooked for 48 hours and is the most popular dish in the whole resort (do NOT go home without trying it.)
Anaya, meanwhile, has an imaginative Asian-inspired menu and has the most atmospheric dining room, with moody slate-grey and burnt-orange colours, low lighting and banquette seating. Balmy evenings can also mean al fresco meals out on the balcony overlooking the ocean. Starters here are the star of the show, with a choice of ‘Spicy Tom Yum Soup’, ‘Gyoza’, ‘Tuna Poki Salad’ and ‘Deep Fried Chiu Yim Squid’ making it difficult to select just one dish to kick-start your meal (you’ll want it all). Chef Katsuhiko Hanamure’s menu takes inspiration from Chinese, Thai and Indian cuisine so expect ‘Pad Thai Noodles’, ‘Miso Marinated Salmon Lentil Dhal’ and ‘Thai Yellow Curries’ for mains and refreshing ‘Matcha Green Tea and White Chocolate Mousse’ and ‘Mango Semi Fredo’ to end it all off on a high.
Provence is probably the most sophisticated of the bunch – with the renowned brothers Jacques & Laurent Pourcel overseeing a Med-inspired menu bursting with flavour: think ‘Steamed Mussels’, ‘Pea Gazpacho’, ‘Sea Bass with Bean Puree and Bouillabaise’, ‘Creamy Orzo Pasta with Pumpkin and Ricotta’ and ‘Fig Tart with Yoghurt Ice Cream’.
Ikos Constant Number 1
Lastly, comes Fusco – the eponymous restaurant headed up by Roman chef Andrea Fusco. Twists on Italian classics include ‘Pizza Carbonara’ and ‘Champignons Consommé with Black Truffle’ (the latter is a culinary dream), followed by a choice of light, summery pastas such as ‘Seafood Linguini’ and ‘Prawn Ravioli with Peas and Lemon’. To further tempt you, there’s ‘Chicken Saltimbocca’ and ‘Parmesan Risotto’ ‘Arancini’ and ‘Beef Tenderloing with Saffron Potato’.
Ikos resorts always come with a private beach
At all the restaurants there are inspired children’s menus, too, which go far beyond the usual burger and basic pasta choices that the little ones are normally given. For relaxed meals, breakfasts and lunches, there is also Flavors – a large, modern buffet restaurant – with a constantly changing menu based around Mediterranean cuisine (and the best selection of patisserie this side of Paris).
Even more inspired, is the Dine Out option, whereby guests can visit a local eaterie, like the charming local taverna Erodios, at no extra cost. Meanwhile, making sure that every culinary whim is catered for, and for those times when you just want to stay put, there’s even 24-hour room service also included.
Explore nearby Mediterranean villages
If you can move after all that eating, then make sure you have a good ramble around the resort – either on foot or on one of the bicycles available to hire (be warned: some of the hills are very steep). Beautifully landscaped, the resort is set into the hillside on multi-levels with stunning views over the Halkidiki peninsula. As well as tennis and squash courts, there is a beach club with watersports, volleyball, sailing and pedalos. The spa offers a heated pool, steam and sauna and a comprehensive range of Anne Semonin treatments for those ‘me, me, me’ moments. This may not be the most adventurous holiday you’ll ever have – it’s found near the quiet, unobtrusive village of Nea Moudania and there’s not much to see or do here – but it will be the easiest.
If you have children, this is the place where holidays become more about ‘happy’ and less about ‘hassle’. With daily football, table tennis, a kids’ club and babysitters on tap, you’ll suddenly find the rare opportunity to read again, or to simply lay in the sun and do nothing (oh, and if you don’t have little ones in tow, you can escape the bedlam by heading to the beautifully scenic – and peaceful – adults-only pool).
Ikos Andalucia Deluxe Jr Suite with Private Pool
Overall, surroundings are design-orientated and seductive and even when the hotel is full, it is one of the places where it never feels like it is. There’s no scrum for sun-loungers, service is top-notch and attention to detail is second-to-none – it is all this combined that sets it far apart from the usual all-inclusive. So, it’s no surprise, given the success of these resorts which follow the same ethos, that the Ikos group is opening in Andalucia.
Ikos Andalucia main bar
Ikos Andalucia Anaya Restaurant
Ikos Andalucia Deluxe Bar
Ikos Andalucia Provence Restaurant
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Ikos “Local Discovery” concept, has been specially craﬅed for you to enjoy a series of complimentary local experiences encouraging you to explore the magnificent areas around all Ikos resorts. A MINI Drive Adventure to top places of interest, the option to Dine Out at local restaurants and unique destination experiences are offered, at no extra cost.
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To book we require 1 night deposit and the balance to be paid 2 weeks prior to travel. You do receive 100% CASH back, including the deposit, when you are unable to travel due to Covid. Of course we can also postpone the booking.