I did a lot of research before booking Ikos Olivia as there’s so much choice out there for all inclusive holidays and hotels and I didn’t wanna be disappointed but I was sold on the 50% discount in the Love Holidays January sale and the 5/5 Trip Advisor rating, not to mention the Trip Advisor list which named it the #1 all inclusive resort in Europe and #2 in the world!! I was not disappointed. Let me start by making a bold statement… This is the BEST place I’ve ever been in my life.
So who’s it for?
I went with Jamie my boyfriend and for couples it was perfect, there was a lot of couples there and young families with babies, a few groups of friends but clearly there to relax. Lets get something straight if you’re looking for somewhere to party this is not it. There is plenty to do for kids if you’re looking to go as a family with various different options of sports activities, learning to dive in the pool, free pedalos, evening theatre entertainment, kids club nights, kids tables in the restaurants so you can have some adult time as well as kids day time activities too and a creche.
My personal favorite things to do are eat, drink and chill (even better when all at the same time) and that is what it was perfect for.
Upon arriving for our transfer you can tell the quality from the second you approach. The beautiful modern hotel stands tall in its grandeur with a big fountain outside, huge storm lanterns with candles in and lovely potted trees all lined in perfect regiment against the marble. Unlike many 5 start locations in certain countries this certainly rivals any UK hotel in quality. The welcome at reception included glass of fizz and a very warm welcome from the front desk staff. We arrived late so we went straight to our room. We upgraded at the time of booking to a panoramic sea view junior suite. The room was beautiful. Marble floors, high ceilings, mirrored furniture, neutral decor with turquoise blue Greek accent tones, perfectly clean, massive bed, luxurious bed linen, big double balcony, lush bathroom. What more could I need? They even had a snack waiting in our room!!
So whats included in your all inclusive?
Everything! Premium drinks, all food, 24 hour room service, minibar (restocked daily) bottles of wine, cocktails, wine (full on bottles like in a restaurant), dining out at 3 local restaurants in the village too!
The food and Drink
The hotel has 5 restaurants, 4 of which are A la Carte. There is Provence which is French, Ouzo Greek traditional, Fusco Italian and Anaya which is Asian then also Flavors which is the buffet restaurant. Booking is required for a la carte and the hotel has its own app which you can download to book, I would recommend booking your a la carte dining on the first day for the duration of your stay, you can cancel or change but these do only have limited availability so it’s better to do to avoid disappointment. You can eat a l carte as much as you wish and when you are at the restaurants its hard to believe that it’s all inclusive. Each restaurant has a sommelier, a proper wine list where you can order but the bottle from a selection of wines carefully chosen to pair from worldwide destinations, a full menu and the quality is not skimped in the least. All the staff are so knowledgable and friendly and happy to make recommendations, my 2 favorite restaurants were Ouzo where everything was incredible. I recommend the shrimp starter and the lamb kleftiko and Provence where the mussel starter was divine and I had the most exquisite dessert I’ve ever had- pistachio creme brule! Also to mention each restaurant has a separate vegetarian menu and gluten free menu.
Even Flavors the buffet restaurant was incredible, we ate here almost everyday for breakfast although Provence does breakfast too as a continental buffet with a small made to order menu. The lovely thing about Flavours is they had really put thought into every detail of this to cover all the requirements of the guests such as- vegan butter, soya milk, gluten free bread! The food here too was wonderful and the selection immense. This was very well quality controlled with dishes constantly being rotated to remain fresh. The had dishes to indulge and an incredibly wide selection also if you are watching your weight. We also ate lunch here many days too as its next to the beach but Provence and Ouzo also do a smaller lunch and late afternoon snacks.
If you like a more impromptu dining experience and don’t like to be set to times there is a snack menu which is served all day and gets brought to you on the beach or by the pool and has thing like burgers and sandwiches on which are tasty too.
Drinks wise there is a full cocktail list which gorgeous cocktails served with premium spirits with all the correct glassware- not a disposable plastic cup or parasol in sight!! The bar staff had a great knowledge also and were happy to let me deviate off the menu and made me espresso martinis and classic martinis.
In reception there is a list also of the entertainment in the bars each night and some of the singers we heard were fabulous and definitely worth going to see.
The Spa is a beautiful spa, the second you walk in the aroma just hits you and relaxes you straight away, this is where the gym is, sauna, steam room and indoor pool is located as well as where you have any treatments which are booked at additional cost. The treatments are not cheap and off the top of my head the massages start at around 100€, I did opt to have a couple as I think I had drank the entire value of my holiday in cocktails. I had the Exquisite Miracle Eyes which is a treatment solely focus on the rejuvenation of the eye area as my eyes were looking a little weathered which was lovely and had 20% off and the Anti-fatigue Remedy massage which was also beautiful. Although pricey it was a lovely addition to my trip and was the only money I spent all week so I was really happy. Theresa my therapist was very calming and lovely and really tailored the treatments to my needs.
I also used the gym a few times when I was there and it had all the equipment you could need for a basic workout of cardio and weights. There is also a selection of classes included too which include yoga, core and much more!
What else is there to do?
There is a daily excursion too available for guests which you can book in reception at Guest Relations. The only one we did was the local market. Please note this is a very rustic market selling local wares to local people and is not in a tourist area at all, the excursion leaves you for about 3 hours and we were done way before that and were a little lost for what to do and got the same impression from other people on the trip too. The mini-mart on site sells many of the same things if you need gifts such as souvenirs, olive oil and spices etc. This was the only trip we did.
Down at the beach there is also the option of hiring equipment for water sports, my boyfriend treated us to a speed boat for 2 hours which you take out completely independently! This was amazing!! A real treat at 200€ for 2 hours but I absolutely loved it and would highly recommend, we sailed all the way across the bay to a completely secluded area overlooking cliffs and forest, it really was exhilarating and great to try driving the boat!!
Just a couple of final details which I know are important to some of you travelers- wifi is everywhere and so good I could watch Netflix on the beach and there is adult only areas at each pool and on the beach too if you like a little grown up time.
Thanks for reading, I hope this has been a help if you’re considering Ikos Olivia as a holiday destination! Keep your eyes peeled for those deals!
All my love, H x