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An amazing holiday - thank you all!
We returned last week from an amazing holiday at IKOS Olivia. It was probably the best family holiday we’ve had in years. The food is incredible, the service is outstanding, the beach/pools were pristine and I was really impressed at the attention to detail. The hotel is in beautiful grounds and really very well maintained. There were a few staff members who were especially helpful: Androniki, Margaret, Despina and Alexandros – thank you for your help! There were a few things that I thought could be improved, but which were relatively trivial compared to the outstandingly good service. The service at Ouzo was occasionally slow compared to the other restaurants for both lunch and dinner, and we felt a bit neglected at times. The white wine was almost always served warm at room temperature rather than chilled, which drove me up the wall so I ended up constantly asking for ice or for it to chill in an ice bucket. There also wasn’t a dedicated smoking area at the main bar or the restaurants, so we were occasionally downwind of a group of smokers, which was noticeable even outdoors. We also noticed that the nespresso machine in the room wasn’t working, which wasn’t a big deal as we were happy to go to one of the bars. Nevertheless, these were pretty minor issues in an otherwise fantastic holiday – we are already looking at planning our next Ikos trip!
It is difficult to write a review in the Covid era as everywhere you go there will be modifications and restrictions in place to allow for social distancing. However, I still cannot give this hotel anything less than five stars. This is our first experience of Ikos and judging by the number of repeat guests we met, I can see why people keep on coming back. This is by far the best all inclusive package I've ever experienced. Everything was of the highest quality. We stayed in a panoramic junior suite which was in the main building. The room was clean, spacious, stylish and very comfortable. The thing that stood out above everything was the friendliness of the staff. From reception through guest relations, the restaurants, pool, activities, everyone was so friendly and welcoming. The fact that they did this behind a face mask so as guests we could have the best experience was a real testament to them. Yes the hotel was lovely and the food great but what really sets a hotel apart is the service and this was first class. My only slight bone of contention was that it sometimes wasn't clear what you could order, particularly at Flavours which is normally the buffet. Translating a buffet into a la carte is a thankless task but I feel it should have been clearer about what you could order. Most people weren't ordering everything on the menu because the kitchen could cook other things to order. We only found this out eavesdropping on another couples order. At breakfast the menu only had eggs but there was so much more on offer. This should have been clearer. This doesn't detract in any way from the holiday and allowances have to be made for the situation we find ourselves in. Would I go back? 100% but not before I try out the other hotels Ikos have to offer though. This is a brand I will holiday with for a long time and in the current climate I cant think of anywhere I would rather spend a week.
We have just had the most wonderful week at Ikos Olivia. From the time we arrived to the time we left we were treated so well. The hotel is gorgeous and is set in truly lovely grounds with beautiful plants, olive trees and a herb garden. Everything is spotless and staff are always cleaning and sanitising. The food is top class in all the restaurants, but our favourite was Ouzo. ALL the staff are great, but would like to give a special mention to Despina, the lovely lady who looked after us on the beach. Thank you Ikos for a memorable holiday and we can't wait to book again!
We are a couple in late 20s on a relaxing holiday staying in the Deluxe One Bedroom Suite Pre arrival / booking The hotel has amongst the best pre holiday communications process we have ever experienced. You can make all your dining bookings, preferences and spa treatments well before arrival and emails are responded to extremely promptly. This makes for a seamless arrivals and saves so much time with admin when you actually arrive taking away all the time consuming typical tasks you associate with resort hotels. Booking directly with the reservations office (IKOS resorts not to be confused with the similarly named IKOS Holidays) again offers an outstanding service with Natalie moving our countless changes reservations with ease during the COVID-19 travel chaos. They are very flexible and give you the peace of mind needed when booking travel at the moment. I can’t speak highly enough of Natalie and the service she offered us. 9/10 Airport arrival in Thessaloniki We expected the typical airport transfer, lots of waiting around trying to find the right driver whilst the sun beats down and your sanity slowly drains away, you know the drill. The IKOS transfer was the exact opposite of this with a representative waiting for you by name and walking you over to your assigned driver whilst checking on your journey and providing ice cold water. The journey in a very nice Mercedes with driver takes 45 minutes and then you arrive, both doors are opened simultaneously and you are greeted by name, then whisked away to a sofa seating area for checkin. Hotel checkin Check in for deluxe guests could not have been better, the ever professional and very personable Despina sat us down before calling over the bar waiter to order us a welcome drink of our choice. She then confirmed the paperwork and guided us though the resort map and restaurant options. Despina then accompanied us by golf caddy to the deluxe bungalow and have us a tour after surprising us with a sea view room which really made this holiday special. We were also provided a WhatsApp number to reach the concierge whenever needed which we used most days as saved a huge amount of time and effort going to the desk, this was a really great touch. 10/10 Concierge service As a deluxe guest you can make use of the Deluxe concierge, there were three concierges who were equally brilliant. They all exude 5 star service and are a real credit to the IKOS brand, thank you to you all. The concierge will help with spa and restaurant reservations and will try to squeeze you in even when restaurants are full, which they very kindly did for us on one occasion. They will also coordinate your day trips, for example we rented a small motor boat and the Deluxe team had a mini ready for us and brought out water, drinks and a packed lunch and loaded it all the boot, checked we knew where to go and sent us on our way - what great service. 10/10 Deluxe 1 bedroom bungalow Attached to this review are pictures of the deluxe bungalow. The pictures don’t do it justice as you don’t get a feel for the quality of materials and fabrics etc. The bungalow has a full living dining room with a separate large bedroom and Jack and Jill bathroom leading back to the lounge. All were appointed in a contemporary but very tasteful style and reflected the true US 5 star standard that can often be very lacking/ variable in European countries The room benefitted from a minibar replenished daily with drinks of your choice and all is included in the rate. Room service will happily deliver more if you run out thought the day which is a very nice touch. There was also a good quality coffee machine in all rooms and nice glass wear, no bathroom cups in a holder on this property! The garden was amazing with two padded loungers, a huge good quality umbrella and a full patio seating set. The view was to die for and 10 seconds walk to the pool or beach. Just amazing all round. The cleaning service was very thorough daily and the cleaners did an outstanding job of removing all used food items and cleaning all surfaces/ items/switches etc thoroughly whilst providing hand sanitiser in the room daily. Although turndown service is currently paused to limit contact which is understandable during the pandemic. The cleaners came at a reasonable hour at about 10 am daily which avoided disturbance, many hotels seem to now run cleaning service at the crack of dawn or late afternoon, not here. 10/10 Deluxe area The deluxe pool is amazing, always a cushioned lounger well spaced available and the pool team literally run over to set you up with towels and open the umbrella. They check the beds are ok for you and move things around to be in the shade if wanted. The pool itself is heated and is fairly warm but could be slightly warmer ideally. It is huge for the number of people and likely difficult to heat. You have a sea view from the far end and it’s very easy to maintain a social distance because the pool is so large and deluxe guests are so few. The pool is not a party pool, it is a relaxation pool as it should be. Something akin to the St Regis or Four Season resort pools. Unfortunately we did witness some very vocal guests who felt the pool was boring and articulated that with various expletives citing the lack of live entertainment poolside, however the majority of the guests simply enjoyed the serenity and did not long for an Ibiza Rocks type atmosphere for which we are glad this hotel does not cater to. It would be an improvement if there was a tasteful in-ground spa hot tub in the deluxe area especially considering the jacuzzi in the spa itself is closed, this would be especially useful in shoulder season when the water temperature drops. What makes the pool area really special is the people and the quality of service. Daphne leads an outstanding team of drink servers that walk around the pool constantly asking if you need anything. Quite simply the pool service could not have been any better, every single staff member was just amazing and made us feel Luke royalty / family at the same time. We will miss them all and can’t wait to see them again, they’re such a credit to IKOS and thanks to all of you. The quality and selection of drinks is excellent, they will make any cocktail on or off menu and will recommend cocktails for your palette based on your alcohol preferences. They will also pick all the mint and basil drink drinks fresh from the deluxe garden when preparing the drink which makes the drinks taste amazing. Daphne recommended the basil smash and we were hooked, try it if you are staying ! The deluxe beach was equally good with exceptional drink and towel service, really comfortable and shaded day beds and the water is calmer in the deluxe area as it’s more sheltered around a corner. Finally, they have set up a deluxe lunch restaurant on the decking by the sea. This is essentially the bar menu but served restaurant style which again is really nice. We did experience some guests ordering a white pizza and then complaining profusely and even took to social media to vent their anger when the pizza arrived with no tomato base (erm it’s a white pizza with a beautiful selection of cheeses and no tomato base) ... enough said. The service team handled everything really well as always and we enjoyed all our lunches here so much. It would be nice to have a more permanent shade structure here rather than umbrellas that can’t be put up when windy, three days we couldn’t eat here as we can’t sit in the sun and the umbrellas can’t be put up when windy. Because of the amazing pool and beach service team no doubt 10/10 overall Room service Room service is fantastic usually with 30 minutes and served hot and straight to your garden if you request it. Menu is plentiful and slightly upgraded for Deluxe and you are able to order any of the amazing wines or cocktails all included in the room service. This is a really nice touch late at night after a few drinks. You can actually order dishes from a restaurant on the Deluxe room service in addition to the room service menu if you would prefer to dine in your room on occasion, this takes the service to the next level. 10/10 Other guests There were some very challenging guests for the poor staff during our stay, there were occasions I would describe behaviour as borderline abusive or at best degrading but the staff are trained so well they take it in their stride and deal with everything amazingly. Would guests saying please and thank you really be so hard for everyone to say especially considering how courteous every single staff member at IKOS is, mutual respect goes a long way. However on the whole other guests were very nice, lots of nice young families right through to a lovely group of slightly older ladies celebrating together. We really enjoyed the mix of nationalities. COVID 19 procedures The resort operates a test then entry process which allows a feeling of ‘normal’ when on holiday. Within our little haven / bubble sheltered from the outside world we felt safe and normal for the first time in 5 months. We have been very careful and not even been to a supermarket since March so coming here was a big decision and we could not have felt safer. All the staff wear masks 100% of the time over their mouth and nose, every single table and chair is disinfected with aerosol disinfecting spray the second someone leaves and they will not let you sit until it is disinfected which is great. All the restaurants are outdoor and well spaced out which again helps to keep everyone safe. By far the worst part is the flight, once you have that done with the IKOS is an oasis where things feel ‘normal’ once again. 9/10 Main bar Maria at the main bar was amazing and the whole team were fantastic too. Yanis seemed to enjoy creating off menu and new cocktails for us, even getting out the smoking machine for a smoked old fashioned. Wow the drinks were outstanding, really well balanced and the service was just exceptional. All the main lobby bar team again made us feel like family and we can’t wait to come back to see them again. Thank you to everyone there you are all fantastic. 10/10 Excursions We rented a motor boat with Dream Swim, the hotel recommended operator taking a free Mini One (automatic) to the boat rental location which was an easy route with Google maps or the sat nav provided. The operator was professional and the boats are in very good condition however when we arrived they said it was too windy but hadn’t bothered to inform us by email or phone before driving there, not a great service. We decided to go out against their advice and made a route on the inner side of the island to avoid the wind, most of the journey was like a lake with very calm water, they should have really suggested this rather than just saying don’t go out because it’s windy. However once we were out the beaches and sights were beautiful and not to be missed, clarity of the water excellent for swimming or snorkelling. 8/10 Food All the menus can be found on the app in advance and dishes can be customised without issue by the chef. The food overall was restaurant standard and not something you would usually associate with all inclusive even on the luxury end. It was like going out for a gourmet meal every night with great service. Fresco Food 10 Service 10 - In our view this was the best meal of the week and the service team led by Fjori is incredible. Fjori remembered us, looked after us and brought us some local aparatif samples to try, including a coconut drink from Brazil that was well worth trying. Dinner in the beach Food 9 Service 10 Ouzo Food 9 Service 10 Provence Food 10 Service (10 first visit 7 second visit when too busy) Anaya Food 8 (not really Japanese more a mix of Asian cuisine but no sushi !) Service 9 Deluxe bar menu Food 9 Service 10 Flavours Food 8 Service 8 For breakfast Provence offers the best menu in our opinion but try them all. For lunch a quick tip is the Fresco is open for lunch but not advertised as such on the app, they serve the Flavours menu but it is less hectic and because of that the service is really good here. 9/10 Spa Really good massage therapist, beautiful spa area and very professional. Such a shame the spa pool and hot tub is closed due to government regulations I believe. Had a couple of treatments and all were excellent. We did feel they should think about adding medi spa services (teeth whitening, Botox etc) that you would usually get in large spa hotels. 8/10 Grounds and property Pictures do not do this property justice. The olive trees, flora and plants are stunning and the smells when you walk around the property are very pleasant, especially in the evening. The gardening team is outstanding to keep this place looking so beautiful in heat. They even have olive oil made from all the olive trees on site ! Checkout Same premise as checkin, seamless and hassle free with a professional driver and a goodbye from the staff. Car was on time to the second. The deluxe concierge kindly afforded us a day room as we had a late checkout which was much appreciated and they arranged all the luggage transfer and new keys to be brought to our room, seamless process and meant the last day felt like a full bonus day - thank you. For deluxe guests they provided a really nice farewell gift which was a very nice touch thank you. 10/10 Overall this resort is world leading and the all inclusive food and drink is comparable to paid for food and beverage in any good five star hotel. There are literally no restrictions on what is included, it is an Uber all inclusive experience, unlike any we have experienced across some of the best resorts in the world. We have found a real gem and will be back both as a couple and with friends. Thank you IKOS team for an unforgettable holiday after a 6 month lockdown. Overall 10/10. Thank you to all the wonderful staff.
The Most Perfect Holiday
We had our first Ikos experience last year at the Ikos Aria which we just loved. We were due to go back to Aria this year but was moved to Andalusia then to Olivia. After what felt like an emotional rollercoaster we finally made it to Ikos Olivia for our one week holiday. Just as expected it was out of this world. From the moment we arrived to the moment we left we were made to feel so special by all the staff and you truly get a feeling of being part of the Ikos family feeling quite emotional saying goodbye to all the staff. We was upgraded to a one bedroom garden bungalow which was just stunning and the extra space really helped with having a 3 year old. The pools are amazing, all the restaurants just beautiful. We did have a few hiccups with Ouzo but they were rectified. The food and drinks in each and every restaurant and bar is just out of this world. But hand on heart the staff truly make these resorts. They go above and beyond for everyone. I could say an endless list but a special thank you to Chaido and Stefanos by the Splash Park pools for always looking after us. Maria in the Main Pool Bar of an evening, Stefanos at Flavours and Thekla in Provence. She is just so amazing and my little boy adored her. Can I also add how well the Covid antibody testing worked. We arrived on a very busy day so took a little longer but it’s all handled so well and just makes your holiday even more perfect at a time when the world is so strange. Overall a perfect holiday. Anyone visiting you are in for such a treat! See you next year Ikos Olivia
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