Ikos Oceania, Greece- Part Two…
It feels like my mini trip to Ikos Resorts with Sovereign Travel was a million years ago now. Back in April I spent a long weekend at Ikos Oceania on a press trip. I wrote all about Part One here if you want to have a read.
Here is the second part of my adventure to this beautiful resort…
Carb overload. The food at Ikos Oceania was absolutely delicious. I think often there can be a little bit of preconception when it comes to all inclusive holidays but Ikos is working hard to put an end to that by redefining the luxury all-inclusive experience with their concept ‘Infinite Lifestyle’.
After settling in on the Thursday afternoon, the Friday was spent out and about. Our first stop was the Petralona Caves, about half an hour away from the resort. A large cave discovered in 1959 where they also discovered human and animal remains, this natural structure is fascinating to visit, and was really interesting for me as it’s not somewhere I would have gone having such young children. I didn’t take any photos while we were there as we weren’t allowed to but here are the rest of the ladies on the trip waiting to get on the litle train that would take us the short distance to the caves.
It was a pleasure to spend time with this group of journalists, travel writers and bloggers. Some of the other ladies on the trip were Tina from Loved By Parents, Mimi from La Vida magazine and Gretta from Mums do Travel.
The Friday afternoon was spent at the beautiful Gerovassilou winery.
We were treated to a tour of the factory where the wine was being produced which was fascinating, before visiting their on site museum where they have the world’s biggest corkscrew collection. It doesn’t sound particularly thrilling but honestly it was so interesting, you wouldn’t believe the different kinds of corkscrew you can get.
Before it was on to some wine tasting. (that’s more like it!)
I used to be a massive wine drinker before having Mads, but I have weirdly gone off it a bit since being pregnant and it’s not come back. Still it was great to enjoy a glass or two of the award winning wine- a fair few of our group took some home to enjoy back in the UK.
More awkward posing, it’s a lot easier to pose when you have a child in the photo to take the attention off you. And I call myself a blogger!
The sun setting over Ikos Oceania. The resort is built into a cliffside and as such the views are spectacular.
Friday night was spent in Ikos Oceania’s a la carte Italian restaurant Fusco, where the menu has been created by Michelin-starred chef Andrea Fusco. The decor was gorgeous, I loved the white washed brick walls and industrial style lighting.
As I mentioned in my previous post, the whole resort has recently undergone an extensive refurbishment and as such is absolutely stunning. The decor throughout was modern, clean and really calm, with lots of whites, blues and greens.
At Fusco we were treated to yet another array of delicious taster plates to try, including this rather tasty chicken and chilli pepper dish. I came away from the long weekend with jeans feeling a little tight around the waist- I dread to think what would happen if I was there one or two weeks.
Chilling out in the lobby with Alison– it was fantastic spending time with her over the course of the trip.
On our final full day, the Saturday, we were lucky enough to be one of the first few people to see the new Ikos Olivia resort which at that stage hadn’t opened to the public, although it’s since welcomed it’s first guests. It was an honour to see this beautiful resort, which is modern and with an amazing selection of accomodation for families, with the introduction of private villas. I can guarantee that we will book to go back there with our girls one day as it was just a perfect family hotel. I felt very envious of the first guests tweeting me to say that they were off there and could I send them a photo.
On the Saturday afternoon we got to sample a bit of sunbed relaxation, which I must admit I was absolutely looking forward to. How beautiful is this pool? I think that the infinity pool at Ikos Oceania might just be one of the most beautiful I have seen. Look at that view in the distance.
The resort offers pool and beach side waiter service (and of course drinks are included in the price) which was just a wonderful luxury. It was wonderful taking a bit of time just to relax and sip on my mojito.
So beautiful. In fact all the grounds were absolutely stunning, some of the most immaculate and landscaped I have stayed in, with flowers everywhere and lovely attention to detail.
Could you ask for anything more from a holiday pool? We also got a gorgeous massage in the resort spa which was lovely. In fact it was one of the best I have had.
Our final evening was spent dining out. A really great bonus when you stay at the Ikos properties, is that you get to ‘dine out’ at a local restaurant for no extra cost. The food at Ikos Oceania was so gorgeous that you could never get bored, but still if you are there a week it’s definitely nice to mix it up and have a change, plus of course it’s great to experience an authentic Greek restaurant.
We ate at Erodios restaurant by the harbour and were yet again treated to an array of salads, meats and other dishes, including the most delicious fried feta cheese and also these zucchini fries- yum. Ikos organise transport for you to and from the restaurant as well so it’s definitely worth visting a local restaurant at least once. Plus these dine out experiences also benefit the local community which of course is a great thing.
As well as eating breakfast in the hotels main restaurant Flavours for breakfast, we also ate lunch there on the last day. I snuck in three puddings, after all I was about to go home, it was compulsory really.
One last photo with the ladies from the trip and the hotel managers. All the staff were incredibly friendly and you can see why guests return year after year. Even better that they now have a beautifully refurbished hotel to enjoy.
Just in case you missed my last post, here is a video of my time at Ikos Oceania…
Overall I had a fantastic trip to Greece with Sovereign Travel and Ikos Resorts. The resort truly is beautiful and I was really impressed with the facilities that they had on offer, especially for families. The kids club looked incredible, but even if you don’t fancy putting your kids into childcare, there was still a huge array of things for them to do. The soft play area was fantastic and there was a lovely outdoor playground for them as well. For older kids there was a range of activities for them to do as well, but really when you go on holiday what do you need except for a pool? And what beautiful pools there were on offer, the infinity pool was truly stunning, and there was a dedicated kids pool too.
My room was stunning, large and beautifully decorated. My one slight issue would be that if you had a family then there wouldn’t be a separate area for the kids to sleep, this is a big part of what we look for in holiday accomodation. However having seeing my friend Alison’s room, she had a different layout with a little lounge area, so that would be perfect for younger families. I would make sure you specify on booking if you want this kind of accomodation and I am sure the hotel will help you work out what’s best for you. The rooms had great extras, with premium drinks (hello Diet Coke!) and a Nespresso machine too.
I would definitely recommend Ikos Oceania and the new property Ikos Olivia to anyone who is looking for an All Inclusive family holiday with a difference. It’s definitely opened my eyes to the fact that you can still experience luxury while enjoying the benefits that an all inclusive resort has to offer. Ikos Oceania offers luxury, attention to detail, excellent family facilities and more in abundance. As I stare out of my dreary office window, I would give anything to be back in that infinity pool- but this time with my little family splashing away beside me.
Sovereign (01293 731566, www.sovereign.com), the luxury specialist, has a week at Ikos Oceania from £1899 for a family of three on an all-inclusive basis. The price includes return flights from London Gatwick to Thessaloniki with easyjet and private resort transfers. All Sovereign customers also benefit from complimentary lounge access at No 1 Traveller Gatwick and the premium security lane, as well as a private cocktail on the beach and a farewell gift. Price based on departures 25 October 2015 with a saving of £411 per family. For further information on Ikos Resorts please visit www.ikosresorts.com Lounge provided by www.no1traveller.com