When we moved to London, we knew that a holiday to Greece was on our ‘must-do’ list. Choosing somewhere to go, however, turned out to be more difficult than we expected… a simple Google search of ‘Greece family-friendly resorts’ throws up a remarkable range of beautiful options. In each photo the water is bluer than the last, and the beaches more perfect.
We finally settled on the child-friendly resort of Ikos Olivia for a week in September 2017. It looked sure to tick all the boxes of all-inclusive in a beautiful location, child-friendly amenities including a kids club, comfortable rooms and of course, reasonable proximity to London. We weren’t disappointed!
Hot tip: book early – good discounts are available early and late in the season, if you’re able to go outside of UK school holidays…
Location and arrival experience
The resort is located in Halkidiki, about 45 minutes from the airport (a free transfer service is offered with car seats on request).
As soon as you walk through arrivals the resort team are there waiting for you, and the warm welcome extends into arrivals at the main reception – the team is ready with a glass of champagne (and juice for C) and check in is swiftly completed.
Then it’s off to your room or suite by buggy – a highlight for C – and the holiday feeling sets in quickly…..
Rooms and Amenities
The rooms are spacious and luxurious, offering a mini bar, turn down service and an extensive room service menu. The decor is bright and fresh and no request is too much trouble.
Food, Beaches and Kids Activities
Ikos prides itself on the ‘ultimate lifestyle’ all-inclusive concept. From the minute you check in, all of your food, drinks and activities are included so there’s no need to think twice or ‘budget’ while you’re away.
Food options range from the Flavors buffet, through Italian, French, Asian and Greek a la carte options. All delicious, and each includes a healthy range of baby and toddler meals. We particularly appreciated that every restaurant has an abundance of high chairs and baby cutlery etc, and that you never felt like you were the only parent with a loud baby anywhere…. All of the staff are extremely accommodating and there was always a smile and a cuddle for C.
Having a cocktail or mocktail in hand is also never a problem – staff on the beach are always ready to take your order, bring a snack, and make sure that C is looked after too (she happily consumed what felt like her weight in fruit juice and potato chips in between building sandcastles and floating in the pool with Daddy).
Also important for parents is the option for a few hours of child-free lazing (noting this comes at an additional cost). Ikos has a professionally staffed Creche and Kids Club so that you can enjoy yourself and know that the little ones are in good hands. C came back from her 3 sessions with all sorts of craft items, and we were very happy with the calibre and approach of the staff. For slightly older kids, the option of beach club (supervised beach time) or arts and crafts, sports, cooking, water sports, swimming and games, make it an attractive prospect if lazing by the pool doesn’t appeal….
C enjoyed running around the football field and tennis court – each season Ikos runs a number of sports programmes for kids including a football academy and basketball competition. Great fun and a perfect addition to beach and pool time. In 2017 C was a bit small to make the most of it but enjoyed running around the place anyway!
Wandering around the resort day and night was a breeze – perfect paths for the stroller, and it never took more than 10 minutes to walk between any two points of the resort. The beaches are all gorgeous, and split between family friendly, adults only, and a separate area for Deluxe Collection guests.
Overall we would highly recommend a visit to any Ikos resort to anyone who wants to have a relaxed, chic, ‘your wish is our command’ vacation in a beautiful setting. Next time, in Part 2, I’ll share our equally fabulous experiences at Ikos Dassia (Corfu).
Do you have a favourite family beach holiday location? Share below!
2 thoughts on “Ikos Olivia – testing the ‘ultimate lifestyle’|Part 1”
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