We’re just back from a week at the absolutely beautiful, brand-new Ikos Odisia Resort on the island of Corfu, Greece.
If you ask any mums group on Facebook, Ikos Resorts are the holy grail of luxury family holidays in Europe. They have a number of properties in Greece and Spain, including new resorts for 2023 in Corfu and Mallorca. But as regular readers know, we are frequent independent travellers and don’t typically book resorts. I have definitely uttered “I’ll never go all-inclusive in Europe” a few times over the last few years. So how did we end up at Ikos, an ultra all-inclusive hotel in Greece?
Well, I guess the main thing is, we became parents. And we’re very tired. And we thought wouldn’t it be lovely for someone else to make all the beds and snacks and meet the demands of a picky eater for a week all whilst we enjoyed a la carte meals in jaw-dropping waterfront settings?!
Wouldn’t it just!
We decided to book Ikos Odisia in Corfu as not only did I find the design of this brand-new resort appealing but we liked that in was in Corfu, somewhere we already knew and therefore wouldn’t feel like we were missing out if we didn’t leave the resort much. We also liked that Ikos Odisia is a short and straightforward transfer from Corfu Airport, taking approximately 20 mins in a taxi if there’s no traffic.
And our verdict? In short, we loved it.
This was our first time experiencing the ‘unconditional luxury’ of Ikos, and I can honestly say this is the best all-inclusive hotel we’ve ever been to and one of the best ‘family-friendly’ hotels we’ve stayed in that (crucially!) is just as appealing to adults. The fact that just as many couples as families holiday here shows how well it strikes the balance.
I was utterly obsessed with the design and landscaping, which combines low-level modern bungalows with huge pools, mountains views, golden sands and an elegant planting scheme of palm and olive trees interspersed with purple spires. As the plants mature this will have an even more beautiful impact.
Another thing Ikos does well is create a boutique hotel feel within a sprawling resort. Ikos Odisia is split into 4 villages (where you stay depends on your room type, see map below) and I was really impressed by how guests seemed to be well dispersed around the different pools and beaches. Even at full capacity the resort never felt crowded.
The food was excellent and plentiful, and, while pre-booking all our evenings in advance is not something we’re used to doing on holiday, none of the resort’s restaurants were a disappointment.
Read also: Are Ikos Resorts worth the money?
Ikos Odisia Overview
Ikos Odisia has 10 pools and 7 restaurants, 5 of which have atmospheric waterfront views, and all of which have a chic yet relaxed ambiance.
We spent long, leisurely evenings in the restaurants enjoying the Corfiat views and mouth-watering food. (The Greek cuisine & beachfront setting of Ouzo was our favourite.)
A stay at Ikos is elevated by luxury inclusions such as a la carte meals (at every meal time), in-room dining, fine wines, free watersports and Tesla car hire. But we also noticed the small things that make a big difference to families – like excellent sound-proofing in the bungalows!
Overall, we found Ikos rather special because as my 4-year-old declared ‘l love this hotel because it’s all for me’, us parents were thinking the very same thing.
And although this was one of the most expensive family holidays we have ever taken, it was definitively the most relaxing.
Our room at Ikos Odisia
We stayed in a Junior Bungalow Suite with private garden that was located in the Sea Village. (Room number 5056.)
We loved the generous private garden with sun loungers and outdoor dining space. This area came in handy for feeding Miles if we had late dinner reservations and was also perfect for enjoying a leisurely room service breakfast. (Which was all included.)
The room felt like a good size for the 3 of us. Our son slept on a single sofa bed that wasn’t intrusive on the floor space and there was a generous amount of wardrobe space.
The bed was so comfortable and the bedding was sumptuous. I’m super fussy about bedding and this was definitely the best bed we’ve ever had in Greece. We all slept in every morning!
The Sea Village, which is the furthest of the 4 villages from the main building, felt nicely secluded. Our room was on the furthest edge of the resort so we got our steps in each day! We appreciated the privacy of this location though, as well as the gorgeous mountains views from the garden.
We loved the pool area that was surprisingly peaceful, but we did need to rely on buggies to get to some facilities near the main building and they were in short supply.
We never made it to places like the Theatre or Spa on the far side of the resort because the golf buggies didn’t turn up on time.
Restaurants at Ikos Odisia
I was really impressed with the restaurants at Ikos Odisia. They each had their own modern organic Mediterranean design that is very on trend, and they weren’t oversized, so they felt like somewhere we would usually dine on holiday.
Apart from the Flavors buffet restaurant, all restaurants at Ikos Odisia offer Michelin–starred a la carte menus for dinner and, in addition, Fresco and Elia also serve an a la carte menu at lunchtime.
Our favourite restaurant was Ouzo because it had wonderful ocean-meets-mountain views and a traditional Greek menu.
Ouzo is open pretty much all day, serving a buffet at breakfast, bbq at lunch and exquisite Greek dishes, including moussaka and kleftiko, at dinner. Ouzo definitely had our favourite menu and it’s a great place to have breakfast with kids as there is a small (Deluxe) beach area they can play on while you finish your coffee.
Elia is the only restaurant that serves an a la carte breakfast. It’s definitely worth heading up there for the French Toast, Acai bowls and barista coffee but there aren’t that many options for children.
Elia is also the best place for sundowners at Ikos Odisia. The cliff top ocean views and ambient DJ tunes set the mood for the evening ahead perfectly.
The Sea Grill on the beach is the perfect place for a casual lunch – they serve a delicious pork gyros and Mythos beer.
Although we didn’t eat dinner at the Flavors buffet restaurant (I lack the restraint to enjoy a buffet dinner) we did feed our son there a few times and the quality of food was excellent. The amount of desserts, in particular, was extraordinary and they all looked like works of art. If you have a sweet tooth it’s worth heading to Flavors at some point during your stay just to sample them.
Overall, what is so excellent about Ikos is the amount of choice you have when it comes to dining and the excellent quality of the menus. In my opinion, Ikos Odisia is an all-inclusive hotel that does not feel all inclusive. The restaurants felt like places we would usually dine on our European holidays, I kept expecting someone to bring the bill!
I was genuinely impressed with the number of options on the a la carte menus, and that there were whole separate sections dedicated to vegans, vegetarians, children, babies and toddlers. (There is literally a different menu for each age group.)
For families you never have to worry about what to order for the little ones – Miles favourite Pasta Bolognese was on the menu at every restaurant – or what time of day they want to eat as there is always something open. (The Pool Bars and In-Room Dining also have children’s menus and operate throughout the day.)
I’m a dessert girl and I did not meet a pudding I didn’t polish off. In fact, we reached peak indulgence towards the end of our stay and ordered a strawberry cheesecake to the room as an afternoon pick-me-up. It was so delicious I almost passed out with happiness!
Tips for visiting Ikos Odisia
- Download the Ikos app
Download the Ikos app before your stay to make restaurant reservations and pre-book things such as kids club and Tesla car hire. You can also view menus, activities and a resort map.
- Pre-book restaurants
All guests can pre-book 3 dinner reservations before their stay. (Deluxe guests can book more.) I made mine via the app but you can also email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We booked the rest of our dinner reservations via the app after arriving at the resort and found quite limited availability – mostly 6pm or 9.30pm slots – when travelling during school holidays. We ended up taking the later reservations and feeding our 4-year-old via room service or at the buffet before going for our dinner. I think if we’re travelling during summer holidays again we’d consider booking a Deluxe room just to nab those 7/8pm sweet spots.
- Book a complimentary sunset cruise
You can do one complimentary sunset cruise from Ikos Odisia during your stay. It departs outside Ouzo Restaurant at 7pm and takes approximately 90 mins. The cruise travels north from the resort as far as Kalami. There’s no food on board but sparkling wine and juices are provided.
It was lovely to get out on the water and I love that Ikos doesn’t charge for this.
Do note however that the sun sets on the opposite side of the Corfu coast so you won’t get that typical sun dipping into the ocean view.
- Book a complimentary Tesla for a day exploring Corfu
Although we have explored a lot of the north coast of Corfu in the past we loved getting out for a day in the Tesla. We decided to explore Cape Drastis and Canal D’Amour near Sidari. It was a relatively easy drive with free parking at the viewpoint and parking for just 5 euro for the day at Canal D’Amour. (Bring cash.)
Other places you could explore with the Tesla from Ikos Odisia are:
Liapades and Rovinia Beaches
Kalami Bay and the White House Restaurant
Porto Timoni Viewpoint
Check out my guide to North East Corfu for more on these locations.
- Consider booking the Deluxe Collection
Every Ikos resort has a selection of Deluxe rooms that offer enhanced suites and upgraded experiences, including an unpacking service, upgraded menus and complimentary spa treatments.
The Deluxe Village at Ikos Odisia is located in the middle of the resort near the main beach area and only Deluxe guests can use this pool & bar area.
There are also 2 beach areas dedicated to Deluxe guests – one near the Sea Village and the other in front of the Ouzo Restaurant.
It is worth noting that beaches in Greece are open to the public and during our stay the Deluxe beach area near Fresco and the Sea Village tended to be the busiest because it was closest to the public access road. (There is a public access route through the resort in between the Deluxe and Sea Villages that does not appear on any resort maps.)
The full list of benefits of booking The Deluxe Collection can be found here.
- Pre-book an airport transfer
There are a couple of options for getting to Ikos Odisia from Corfu Airport.
- If you book direct with Ikos you will receive a complimentary airport transfer.
- You can also book a VIP airport transfer with Ikos. The transfer cost is €72 each way plus €5 for every child seat required. If you need a Mercedes Viano 7-seater then the cost is €121 each way. You can book this service via email@example.com
- We found the easiest option was to pre-book a taxi with a local airport transfer company. We used Babis (firstname.lastname@example.org) who charged €40 each way, including a booster seat.
- You can also hop in a taxi from the taxi rank at the airport. This costs between €35-40 each way. Remember to bring cash.
Frequently asked questions
What’s included at Ikos?
Ikos offer the following as part of their all-inclusive package:
A la carte meals at every meal time
Menus designed by Michelin-starred chefs
All drinks including premium champagne, wine, cocktails, coffees and smoothies
In-room dining and mini bar (replenished daily)
Tesla car hire for the day
Kids club (free for ages 4+) and babysitting
Baby and toddler menus
Bikes and buggy hire
Option to dine at local restaurants as part of your all-inclusive package
E-concierge service via WhatsApp
Basically, absolutely everything is included in your stay apart from the room tax. This was the only bill we had to pay at check out. Click here to find out more about what’s included.
What is there for kids at Ikos Odisia?
The things that really appealed to our 4-year-old were:
The Splash Pad situated at the Garden Village. There’s also a cute little gelateria here with lollipops Miles loved helping himself too.
For children aged 4+ you can book 1 complimentary session of the Heroes Kids Club per day. (Morning session 10.30-13.30, afternoon session 15.30-18.30 and lunch club 13.00-15.00.)
We pre-booked Miles a few sessions at Kids Club before our stay but he didn’t want to go so we cancelled them all. We did make use of the Heroes Village, a huge outdoor play area, one cloudy afternoon though. Children can use this anytime as long as accompanied by an adult.
We also used the pedalos on the beach a couple of times – you get 20 mins free per day.
But generally, Miles just loved bobbing around the huge shallow kids pools with an inflatable a previous guest donated to us. He made friends easily with other children his age and everyone shared their toys around the pool. The pool areas are so generous and well-spaced out that it never felt rowdy. We mainly stayed at the Sea Village pool so we could pop back to the room if we needed respite from the sun. The service around the pool was excellent – from Aperol Spritz to fresh watermelon or a bowl of chips – you were never left wanting for anything.
The activities for older kids looked amazing. When Miles is older I’m sure he’d love to join in the Football Escapes or play games in the pool with the guys from Sharky & George entertainment.
There is evening entertainment too in the form of Heroes Nights Out but I can’t comment on that either as it tended to clash with dinner times and as we were located on the far side of the resort from the Theatre we couldn’t just stick our heads in.
Is the beach at Ikos Odisia sandy?
Ikos Odisia has a lovely stretch of sandy beach so bring the buckets and spades for littles ones and leave your water shoes at home. Unless you plan to explore more of the beaches in north Corfu, in which case do bring water shoes as most of the bays are pebbly.
What was the service like at Ikos Odisia?
I will be truthful and say the service in restaurants, particularly at dinner times, was patchy in places. We got a sense that a lot of staff members were still in training and that they had no experience of working at a 5-star resort previously.
Housekeeping wasn’t up to standard too (dirty cups left behind, mini bar not replenished, beds made messily etc) but we gave feedback via the e-concierge and it did improve.
I will say that overall you got a sense that everyone was trying their best and it didn’t impact how much we enjoyed our stay. But we were told by other guests that Ikos is usually better in these areas.
What is the dress code for men at Ikos?
We were a bit confused about the dress code for men in the restaurants at Ikos and received conflicting advice from different sources. In the end my husband wore smart shorts and either collared linen shirts or polo shirts with smart shoes or sandals.
It was really warm of an evening during our stay and so most men were in shorts and smart leather sandals. Anything other than beach wear, jeans and flip flops/trainers seemed to be acceptable.
How to book a stay at Ikos Odisia
We booked our Ikos holiday through BA Holidays. This was the best price for our dates at the time and offered us a few bonuses like extra tier points and Avios as we are part of the BA Executive Club.
I also used TopCashback who had a promo on for BA Holidays at the time and got £60 back to put towards our transfers.
There are some benefits of booking direct with Ikos, including the free transfers and a discount for repeat guests.
We got no information from BA or Ikos in advance of our stay so I had to google everything about how to book restaurants and activities etc. If you would like support with getting the most out of your holiday then perhaps consider booking with a travel agent that has Ikos experience such as Hollie at Swordstravel.
Note: Our trip was fully self-funded and I am not sponsored by or associated with any companies mentioned in this post.
I hope you have an incredible trip to Ikos Odisia. Let me know if there is anything you’d like to know more about in the comments. Discover more about our stay via my Instagram highlights @jayneytravels.
You might also like: