For us, the definition of summer vacation is relaxation, good food, nature, the possibility of exploring the chosen place and last but most importantly, all in a luxurious environment.
Where if not on beautiful island of Kos, which offers it all: beautiful white sand beaches, archaeological sites everywhere you turn, exquisite traditional cuisine and a few hours of flight? After our experience atIkos Dassia of Corfu this year we chose the Ikos Aria, certain that our expectations would not be disappointed!
If you are looking for a perfect place in Kos to recharge your batteries in beautiful surroundings then the brand new Ikos Aria, with its perfect mix of contemporary and traditional style, it is the perfect option.
Recently opened in May 2019, Ikos Aria offers an incredible stay with the opportunity to relax and take home endless memories. Located on the golden sand of the Kefalos beach and overlooking the dazzling Aegean Sea, this hotel offers the unique experience of a luxury hotel and all-inclusive resort.
here are the 10 reasons why you should choose Ikos Aria for your holiday in Kos, discover with me the wonderful world of Ikos and get ready for an experience like no other!
1 - Luxury at an "affordable" price
- luxury hotel they are commonly seen as an expensive option or an opportunity accessible only by famous or wealthy people. With Ikos resorts this is no longer the case andIkos Aria di Kos is no exception.
The Ikos hotel group is at the forefront for a revolutionary way of thinking and is paving the way for a new "luxury" approach to vacations: taking advantage of the practical benefits of all-inclusive (let's face it, it's great for families who have the freedom and relief of knowing that the extra drinks and ice cream are already been paid) and marry its offer with all the elements of a luxury holiday (fine dining is a real goal: we are talking about a Michelin-starred menu).
Guests don't have to worry about additional expenses: includes food, drinks, service and experiences. You won't be presented with a single invoice for the duration of your stay and there are no nasty surprises when it comes to checking out. Sound too good to be true?
2 - Location
What makes Ikos Aria unique is not just the traditional pampering expected in luxury resorts, but the exceptional location andwarm welcome.
The wonderfully serene setting, surrounded by the beautiful coastline, holds the promise of the Greek islands; seductive beauty, fascinating culture and warm hospitality.
The Ikos Aria resort spans 47 acres soaking up the sun on the beautiful golden beach of Kefalos on the southwestern coast of the Greek island of Kos, right in front of theKastri Island, just 15 minutes from Kos airport and a stone's throw from the main points of interest on the island.
3 - Welcome and hospitality
In addition to quality of services offered, the beauty of the surroundings and the fabulous rooms, one of the best features of luxury hotels is obviously the service. With 374 rooms, you might expect the service to be a little impersonal, but don't be fooled: Ikos Aria's staff are highly trained and have that je-ne-sais-quoi that makes you feel special.
I have no words to describe the kindness, attitude and enthusiasm of the hotel staff to make my trip special and ensure that my experience was exactly what I had dreamed of.
We understood from the first moment that guests at Ikos are not considered just “numbers”, when despite the immense delay of our flight, as soon as we left the baggage area we found our driver there waiting for us. The resort is about 15 minutes from the airport and in a heartbeat we were at our destination.
George, the guest relations clerk, greeted us with a smile, offering us lemon-scented wipes to cool off and letting us sit on the terrace for a welcome drink, while the porter picked up our bags.
We quickly completed the check-in formalities and were finally taken to our sea view suite: after many hours of travel, our bodies screamed for a bed.
Our luggage had already been delivered to us, however, having not dined, we had something to eat by taking advantage of room service. Luckily there was a bottle of white wine in the mini bar which we uncorked to accompany our dinner.
After dinner we immediately fell asleep among the soft cushions, a little cheerful from the white wine and with the sound of the waves breaking on the beach ...
Under a starlit sky. Sincerely it doesn't get any better than that.
4 - Comfort at 5 stelle
There is something about the clean lines, perfect service and contemplative stillness of the hotel for which you will immediately recognize the "Ikos style".
With 374 rooms, suites and villas you certainly can't go wrong: you will surely find the room that best suits your needs. In fact, all the houses enjoy an exceptional view and an unrivaled environment: spacious and furnished balconies, well-kept gardens and private pools that give that extra touch to make your holiday special.
Each room offers the maximum comfort, air conditioning, bathrobes, flat-screen satellite TV, Mini bar stocked with mignons and soft drinks, tea kettle and coffee machine (strictly Nespresso), unlimited access to Wi-FI, French toiletries and skincare products ( branded Anna Semonin).
I admit, we really appreciated the free minibar and often ordered something to eat for Lorenzo from room service.
5 - Adventure and activities
If you are not eating, if you are not relaxing in the spa, sipping a cocktail by the pool or enjoying the private beach, Ikos Aria offers much more to spend your time. The resort hosts many activities, from tennis and cycling, to water polo, windsurfing and canoeing.
With the pedal boat it is possible to reach the small island of Kastri (you can also swim in the turquoise and calm waters). One of our favorite activities!
The small island of Kastri in the bay of Kefalos is an islet on which seagulls live: a spur of rock in the middle of the sea, dotted with greenery on which the pretty blue and white chapel of Agios Nikolaos. Kastri is a fascinating sight; behind it, the silhouette of the much larger island of Nisoros appears on the horizon.
From the beach of Kastri a short but demanding climb starts up to the church where ringing the bell, located outside the church, is a ritual.
If you want to explore the rest of the island, the resort gives you the option to rent, for free, a Mini Cooper for one day (available once per stay for a full day).
Get in your car and be guided by the specially designed Ikos app to explore the best sites Kos has to offer!
Even if the resort is very difficult to leave even for a few minutes, take advantage of the free mini and go visit the Kos town that it really deserves. Hippocrates was born and lived here, teaching his students in the shade of a plane tree.
The tree in Plateia Platanou, a pleasant cobbled square with an inviting cafe, is only around 500 years old, so it probably didn't exist in Hippocrates' time, but it's still impressive.
Just opposite a bridge leads to the Castle of the Knights of the fifteenth century, although a notice on the door says it was closed following the July 21, 2017 earthquake.
6 – Relax, relax, relax!
Ikos Dassia partnered with skin care expert Anne Semonin for her Spa and in-room beauty products. If you are not already relaxed enough during your stay, the SPA's expert therapists, in its serene environment, are prepared to pamper and spoil you.
With various treatment rooms, a Jacuzzi, a hammam, a sauna and a heated indoor pool, you can retreat to a "quiet space" for your body and soul and enjoy a well-deserved well-being.
Of course, spa and salon treatments are not included, but with such high-quality products and therapists, you won't really mind spending the extra.
7 - Starred (and stellar!) Catering
And you eat, guys, if you eat!
Aria has eight restaurants, one of which is the Flavors it is a buffet where you are spoiled for choice. I guarantee you it satisfies even the most demanding palates with international cuisine.
You will find a selection of seafood, meats and a wide choice for those who are vegetarians, Lorenzo really liked pizza very much and I enjoyed preparing incredible mixed salads.
Su Fresco we started a bit biased being an Italian restaurant. We had to change our minds because the dishes created by the Michelin-starred Chef Salvatore Botrini are truly exquisite and refined. What about the veal with tuna sauce and the Milanese risotto with prawns and fennel chutney and finally a simply delicious panna cotta with berries.
THEouzo restaurant with Greek cuisine and menus designed by Michelin-starred Chef Lefteris Lazarou. With its breathtaking view of the sea and the island of Kastri, it was our favorite for breakfast and where for lunch you could find an amazing BBQ, with fantastic grilled meats and vegetables.
Il Season’s welcomes you with its à la carte Mediterranean cuisine, which at breakfast and lunch is only for guests of the Deluxe Collection. The Greek salad and salmon with vegetables and puree and truffle vinaigrette were exquisite.
THEAnaya the Asian restaurant with Michelin menus designed by the renowned Chef Katsu is absolutely my favorite of Lorenzo. He always chose the spring rolls, the Yakitori chicken and finished the meal with the chocolate mousse, I recommend you try them.
Il Provence offers the flavors and aromas of Provencal cuisine with menus created by Michelin-starred Chef Anthony Jehanno. What good are the beef meatloaf with polka dots gras and caramelized onions, the cod with pea puree, emulsion of oil, lemon and garlic and to finish the folder of strawberries, lemon curd and strawberry sorbet, a delight.
Kos the a la carte greek restaurant serves local delicacies (I can recommend the makarounes pasta with bacon and cheese).
Not to mention the excellent snacks by the pool and on the beach… Lorenzo's favorite moment !!!
This is the point why Ikos resorts are truly unique. Of course, the concept of "Infinite Lifestyle" means that all food and drinks are included in the stay and while you may worry that you don't want to eat the same food every day, don't worry, you can range from local specialties to menus curated by Michelin-starred chefs.
I simply recommend you try them all! The à la carte restaurants offer a variety of French, Italian, Asian and Greek Provencal dishes - both modern and gastronomic.
The quality is excellent and each of them has been conceived and designed to have its own personal identity. Ikos Aria also offers a choice of international and local wines; when I discovered my favorite, the ZAZAZU (sparkling white and a little sweet), I ordered it everywhere… even by the pool (I know I should be ashamed).
The next property of Ikos will open in Andalusia next year (2020), and you can already have a "taste" here with the Spanish restaurant Oliva where we enjoyed a potato tortilla with fresh herbs, chorizo chips, Padron peppers and pickled onions, a delicious paella and obviously we couldn't miss the Churros with chocolate sauce and vanilla mousse.
Of course when traveling, the best way to experience local cuisine is to go outside the resort and Ikos Aria gives you this chance. So one night we decided to try the Mylotopi, where we tasted delicious local specialties and enjoyed an unforgettable sea view.
The bill? We didn't pay for it! Mylotopi is one of three local restaurants included in the Dine-around program of Ikos: three restaurants outside the resort, but included in the price and they will take care of accompanying you and bringing you back to the Resort at the end of the meal.
8 - Archaeological sites (including those as well)
Hey Baby, we are in Greece, the cradle of civilization and also Kos is not contradicted in terms of archaeological sites.
And you won't have to go far to visit the ruins of the basilica of Agios Stefanos: not everyone has an archaeological site in their hotel and in the middle of the beach !!!
However, the most surprising thing is that, during the construction of a swimming pool, an archaeological site was discovered right in the center of the resort itself and wisely fenced with glass so as to give guests the opportunity to admire it (the pool was later built by another part).
9 - Balance
If I had to say the thing that struck me most about Ikos Aria is that there is something for everyone: the resort has been conceived, designed and built to ensure a wonderful holiday whether you visit it with children, as a couple with your sweetheart, whether you want privacy (or you want to escape from the children of others), or whether you want to be active, relaxed, enjoy an elegant meal or have a quick snack.
Most restaurants it is subdivided in a discrete way, so couples aren't bothered by families eating, and families can eat quietly without worrying about someone else snorting or feeling annoyed.
There are pools specially designed for children and adult-only pools, so you can always find a suitable one. If you want an even more intimate and exclusive experience, Deluxe guests have access to a swimming pool and private beach (with Balinese beds for maximum comfort)
Sharing a few moments with a group of strangers can be special.
I think the world's problems could be solved more effectively if we all watched sunsets together, but we also need a little privacy every now and then. Ikos Aria manages to offer one and the other, to everyone, and whenever you want.
10 – Deluxe Collection
But for the best experience, book in Deluxe Collection of suites and villas, which have been meticulously created for the most demanding customers.
While the size of the resort may seem overwhelming, Deluxe Collection guests can get away from it all and enjoy private gardens, balconies or individual pools and experience privileges such as a bottle of Taittinger and a beach bag that you will find in the suite upon your arrival as well as high services, including the use of a reserved beach area.
You will also have the opportunity to dine by the sea: a beautiful experience.We had the opportunity to move to the Deluxe area for part of our vacation, when we arrived in our suite it was the garden which, located on the beach, seemed to lay directly on the deep blue waters of the Aegean Sea. In that exact moment we fully understood the motto that characterizes the Ikos resorts: “Infinite Lifestyle”. We immediately ran to the seashore, right where the water gently laps the golden sand of Kefalos beach. For the next hour we swam and basked in the sun, Kastri Island in front of us as if to welcome us. That was one of those unwritten moments that we all dream of as travelers, but too often we don't find