Early in 2018, we started thinking about this year’s vacation…. and suddenly it was June and we really needed to get on and book somewhere! After a few nights of frantic Googling, we decided to go with what we knew – another Ikos resort it would be after our super experience at Ikos Olivia in 2017. But which resort?
After considering a few flight options, Ikos Dassia was clearly the most convenient choice. We couldn’t wait for a week of sun, lazing, and family time.
We were definitely after a pretty sedate vacation, but it’s worth noting that if you wanted to do more, a stay includes – a sunset cruise (each evening at 7pm), dinners at various restaurants around the island, access to a choice of three of the island’s museums, use of a Mini for the day (you only pay gas), plus an app to help you with sightseeing, restaurant recommendations and directions. You could really explore Corfu during your stay if you wanted, and we would do more next time when C is older.
Arrivals and Check in Experience
The airport is small and the arrivals process a bit odd – immigration checks consisted basically of a confirmation that we had a passport for each person – but it was all smooth sailing once we met up with the Ikos team. As usual, Ikos arranges a car transfer and car seat (on request).
Ikos Dassia is situated within 20 minutes drive of the airport, and you get a reasonable feel for Corfu Town during that drive. It’s clear that there is significant ongoing development in the area surrounding the resort, and unlike Ikos Olivia parts of the resort are very close to the main road. This is no issue 99% of the time but every now and then you will hear just enough people and car noise to remind you of real life outside the resort!
As we had hoped, the check-in process was super smooth – we were greeted by name, and completed check in on the huge verandah facing the ocean. Not a bad way to start a week of luxury!
The resort consists of two buildings, Sea and Sky (we were next to Sky), each with a reception, lobby, shop, bars, restaurants and spa. The two buildings are linked by a series of beautiful swimming pools, and of course the beach.
Rooms and Amenities – Deluxe Collection
Thanks to being VERY late booking our trip, we had to book a two bedroom Deluxe Collection suite. This was not cheap but oh was it worth it! The best part was that C had her own room with a door that closed and we could just carry on with life after she went to bed at night, and when she napped. Toddler getting great sleep on holiday = happy parents…..
The Deluxe Collection at Ikos gives you access to a number of additional benefits. If you’re feeling a little bit “extra”, and you can afford to spend more, we found the following benefits particularly fantastic:
- Dedicated Ikos Deluxe Collection Manager – every single day, someone from the management team took the time to find us on the beach or at a restaurant to check we were having a good time, and if there was anything we needed. Our particular manager also took care of the details of restaurant bookings for us – a printed itinerary was waiting in our room shortly after check-in which was so helpful.
- Complimentary spa treatments at Anne Semonin spa on site (two treatments per room per stay – so good that I used both treatments and went two days in a row…)
- Deluxe Collection swimming pool – a great benefit because our room was so close that we could *almost* throw C into the pool from the balcony…no travel time from room to pool and 2 minutes to the nearest restaurant made for a happy toddler!
- Upgraded beach and pool service including unique snacks and cocktails – mainly this seemed to translate to charming staff offering a range of premium spirits… no complaints…. and for C of course there was an endless supply of milkshakes. So many milkshakes…
- Premium bathroom amenities – what can I say, I am a hotel shampoo snob but these products were great and didn’t leave my hair and skin feeling like I’d applied paint stripper.
The only Deluxe Collection special benefit which really didn’t gel for us was the special dinner set on the beach. I think there were a couple of reasons for this; firstly we were booked relatively early (great for C’s bedtime but not so great for a romantic sunset etc) and secondly the whole set up seemed wildly understaffed. Food took FOREVER to come out, none of it was especially great, and we left before our desserts arrived so that C could get to bed. On the upside, one of the waiters noticed that we were leaving and arranged for our deserts to be brought to our room via room service – this was a nice touch and really salvaged the night.
Food and Drink
Ikos really is a classy all-inclusive resort experience – it is fantastic to know you have nothing else to pay for but still receive five-star service. Ikos Dassia offers an endless supply of premium-brand champagnes, wines and spirits, waiter service (including at the beach or pool), à la carte menus and 24-hour room service, along with a host of other extras.
The standard of food is pretty high given the size of the resort. In the buffet restaurants (“Flavors”) a large range of food is available, including hot/cold dishes and kids favourites. Tea, coffee and drinks are served at your table.
For dinner, there are seven a la carte restaurants with Greek, Italian, Thai and Mediterranean themes. If you want to venture outside the resort, dinner can be arranged at three different options – in Corfu Town, on a nearby island (so this includes a boat ride!) and a traditional taverna in Dassia. We didn’t try these options on this trip, but maybe next time as it looks really fun and is a nice way to see more of the island.
As expected, every restaurant is extremely kid-friendly – whenever you entered a restaurant there would be little high chairs set up and ready to go!
Kids Activities, Beaches and Pools
The kids club facilities at Ikos are extensive – babies from 4 months up to teenagers are well-catered for in purpose-built facitilies. It is fair to say that C was not a fan – she was OK for two sessions 3 hour sessions, but just couldn’t settle for the third – so we pulled up stumps and cancelled the remaining session. Other kids seemed to have a great time though!
Of course a highlight of any beach resort stay is the beach and pools. There are children’s pools all around the resort, and the beach is perfect for ‘swimming’ aka floating around with mummy and daddy if you can’t swim yet.
Around the resort there is plenty to do if playing on the beach or in the pool palls. C had a wonderful time in the splash park (conveniently located right next to the ice cream parlour!) meeting other kids and spraying us with water… There are also two full playgrounds (one for babies/toddlers and the other for ages 3-10ish) for burning off energy on the way to lunch and dinner. In a thoughtful touch, the playgrounds are fully shaded allowing all day play.
We also took advantage of the Football Academy offered by the resort – C had a grand time running around the football pitch with Coach Lawrence doing some kicking, throwing and organising cones (but was most excited by her medal and certificate!). Basketball, tennis and bike rental round out the activities for those keen to get some exercise out of the water…
After a week at Ikos, we were definitely relaxed and ready to get back to the real world!