I thought I had better update this post, as Ikos Olivia all inclusive can no longer say it’s the 2nd best all inclusive hotel in the world. It has been voted THE BEST all inclusive hotel in not just Europe, but THE WORLD too. When I heard the news, which was announced on TripAdvisors 2018 Travellers’ Choice Awards, I was thrilled for all the staff at Ikos Olivia.

Sadly it was knocked off the top spot by Ikos Oceania in 2019, and was voted in 2nd place again after Oceania. 

Ikos Olivia Grounds

When we returned from our first visit, I wrote about how we had found the perfect holiday at Ikos Olivia. A holiday so perfect that we get to do it all again in less than 2 weeks. So what has made us return to Ikos Olivia all inclusive?

The Transfer to the hotel

We have all been there haven’t we. The long flight with kids, the cases being last off the plane, trying to locate your coach with tired kids and a grumpy husband. And why is your hotel ALWAYS the last drop off. But with Ikos, this is where the infinite lifestyle begins. You are greeted at the airport and taken to the hotel in your luxury car. This is a complimentary service if booking direct with the hotel for 5 days or more.

The welcome you receive

The welcome starts from the minute you step foot in the hotel. We were greeted by the most welcoming members of staff who offered us champagne and soft drinks. Now THIS was my type of check in. Sat in a comfy chair, sipping bubbles and being checked in by the most wonderful Christina. You don’t even have to worry about your luggage as this is all taken care of.

Ikos Olivia reception

The dining experiences

Are AMAZING. You can choose from Asian, Italian, Greek and French restaurants on site. Or opt for their dining out service, where you still benefit from all inclusive but at a local restaurant. And if you are still stuck for choice, there is the main buffet restaurant which caters for all tastes. Where else would you find an all inclusive hotel which offers dishes created by Michelin starred chefs.

Ikos Olivia Fusco

Ikos Olivia Ouzo

Fusco Ikos Olivia

Luxury accommodation at Ikos Olivia

We were incredibly lucky to have stayed in a bungalow suite with a private pool last year, and without a doubt this is the best accommodation we have ever stayed in. The rooms and suites at Ikos Olivia are decorated in similar tastes, offering a calm and tranquil place to relax.

Ikos Deluxe suite

Ikos Olivia suite with private pool

24 hour room service

Not only do you get an epic mini bar in your room that is replenished daily, there is also 24 hour room service.  And yes the males in my family might have put this service to the test, when they ordered club sandwiches at midnight. We also had breakfast delivered to our room one morning…. AMAZING. And we opted for lunch around our private pool another day. One thing is for sure, you will never go hungry or thirsty here.

Ikos Olivia room service breakfast

The mini bar at Ikos Olivia

The activities on offer

Last year I found out a few things about the activities that are offered. One, is that I am useless at table tennis, and two, taking a pedalo out is bloody hard work but lots of fun. Non motorised water sports are included in your stay, plus you can try your hand at tennis, football, volleyball, aqua aerobics, mountain biking to name a few.

Ikos Olivia Bikes

Ikos Olivia activities

Water sports at Ikos Olivia

Complimentary kids clubs

This is the first time Katie had gone to a kids club on holiday and she loved it. The club operates daily and runs 3 sessions. 10am – 1pm, a lunch session from 1pm – 3pm, and then a final session from 3pm – 6pm. You can book in for all of the sessions if you wish, and it’s advisable to book early (you can even book online before your holiday). There is also a teen club but sadly this is only open in high season.

Please check the session times as this was back in 2016 and they might have changed now.

Time in the Spa

And with Katie going in the kids club most afternoons, it meant the husband and I got some much needed time in the spa. The spa is complimentary and is well worth going for some rest and relaxation. You can also book in for paid treatments, and I treated myself to a manicure whilst I was there.


The choice of pools

There are two main pools to choose from, plus a deluxe pool and the spa pool. We spent the majority of the time at the deluxe pool, which as you can see was virtually empty. The other two pools were livelier but there was never a shortage of sun loungers. And no need to bring your towels for the pool or beach, as there are plenty of huts around to get fresh towels each day. And if you ever want a change from the pools, the amazing beach is just a few short steps away from the pool.

Ikos Oliva Pool

Deluxe Pool at Ikos Olivia

Deluxe Pool at Ikos Olivia

The amazing staff

There is no denying that Ikos Olivia is luxurious, and is certainly redefining all inclusive in Europe. But what makes this hotel special is the staff. I have never been anywhere where the staff work so hard in looking after their customers. From the very first second you are greeted at the airport, you are made to feel special. Nothing is too much trouble, and you are always greeted with a smile and a friendly hello. I have to mention the lovely Christina who looked after us so well last year, and the barman who remembered each evening that my order was a Pina Colada.


I am still pinching myself that not only did we get to stay at the BEST all inclusive hotel in Europe (and now THE WORLD), we get to do it all again in 2 weeks time. We are all extremely excited, and I can’t wait to share our adventures over on my instagram page. But I apologise now as I can imagine there will be lots of cocktail and lazing around the pool shots.

Ikos Olivia

This post was originally published in March 2017

You can find more of my blog posts about Ikos Olivia below

Our 1st visit to Ikos Olivia

Our 2nd visit to Ikos Olivia

Our 3rd visit to Ikos Olivia

Finding luxury cuisine at Ikos Olivia

26 Thoughts on “Best All Inclusive Hotel in Europe AND The World – 10 reasons to visit Ikos Olivia

  1. Having had the pleasure of visiting the Sani Oceania in Halkidiki several times I thought it would be a very hard act to follow. ..well I was right. ..It is a hard act to follow but the Sani Ikos Olivia pulls it off big time .Timos and his team welcome you to this sumptuous hotel resort which, unbelievably, was put together in just seven months. ..A feat only surpassed by God’s creation of the world in seven days!
    We stayed in the main hotel in a pool view junior suite, which with 24 hr room service was the height of luxury.
    The five restaurants we visited were very good with attentive friendly staff waiting to make sure you have a great night out.
    All the restaurants are open for breakfast, lunch and snacks in between.
    The drinks are all premium brands and they have a superb wine cellar.
    Two pools and a well manicured beach with water sports facilities (chargeable ) ensure that you have plenty of options.
    Evening entertainment in the main bar could maybe do with an adults only cocktail bar as an alternative.
    The hotel was still having some facilities finished while we were there and I’m sure when finished they will be the icing on a very elaborate cake! Well done guys!! Should be 6 stars!

    • Tracey Williams on March 28, 2017 at 9:12 am said:

      Wow thank you Victoria for your amazing comment. I can’t believe that they only had 7 months to get Olivia as amazing as it is. The staff really are out of this world, and I am sure they offer the same service at Oceania too. Who knows we might try their sister hotel one day, as it will be our second time to Olivia when we return next week. Totally agree that it should be 6 stars too. Amazing and luxurious place x

  2. omg I am sooooo excited I can not wait to visit, I just love Ikos and the service, food, staff and luxury they really are special x

    • Tracey Williams on March 28, 2017 at 9:18 am said:

      I just wish we were there at the same time Sarah. I can just imagine going through the cocktail list together, whilst basking in the sunshine. Argh so excited too x

  3. This place looks amazing! We’ve only stayed at one inclusive resort, with Mark Warner on Rhodes, and it was a blissful experience. You’re right – good staff make all the difference.

    • Tracey Williams on March 28, 2017 at 9:25 am said:

      The past few years we have chosen all inclusive as it has worked out cheaper for us. But Ikos Olivia is all inclusive and then some. The food and the premium drink they offer is amazing, plus the 24 hour room service is pretty special too Nell x

  4. Good review, thank you! And I was impressed by table tennis table! Seems to me, nowadays it is really popular equipment in hotels. It can be used in case of bad weather. I wish I was there to win the hotel tournament.

    • Tracey Williams on March 28, 2017 at 9:31 am said:

      I am pretty sure if there was a hotel tournament I would be out in the first round. I was pretty bad but my son was good at all, considering he had never played before. It’s good that hotels offer different forms of activities for holiday makers x

  5. Oh I can just see you sipping champagne at check in as your luggage is whisked away!

    • Tracey Williams on March 28, 2017 at 9:32 am said:

      It’s a pretty good way to start your holiday isn’t it Sam. If only they could offer an unpacking service too, now that would be the icing on the cake lol x

  6. Ikos sounds like such an amazing relaxing place to go. I always hear good things about it from yourself and Sarah. And ohh the food!

    • Tracey Williams on March 28, 2017 at 9:38 am said:

      Tas the food is truly amazing, and I am sure I will be filling my instagram feed with lots of foodie pictures. I just need to carry on eating lettuce for the next week, as I am sure I will put on about a stone with all the food and cocktails x

  7. This looks absolutely stunning! We went to an incredible one in Turkey last year that I keep meaning to write about but seriously, this looks GREAT 🙂

    • Tracey Williams on March 28, 2017 at 9:47 am said:

      I remember how idyllic your Turkey resort looked last year. I am sure you would absolutely love Ikos Suzanne. Perfect for older kids, and younger kids too as there is a complimentary kids clubs where Katie went for a few days. Bonus spa time for the husband and I x

  8. This sounds idyllic. I’ll definitely keep it in mind next time we’re booking a relaxing holiday.

  9. It sounds like such an amazing place and I think I wouldn’t want to leave really. Sarah always tells me good things about it too. I really do want to book it one day!

    • Tracey Williams on May 11, 2017 at 3:55 pm said:

      It really is a little slice of heaven Tas. Having found it I can’t imagine holidaying anywhere else now if we were looking for a European beach holiday x

  10. Jamie Allan on September 2, 2017 at 8:19 pm said:

    Great review and this place looks amazing, do you mind telling me how you booked this? Separate flights and hotel bookings?
    We’ve recently been to BLV in Kos and found that you can book separately here via tui.com (german website) and easyjet and get it for half the price, so wondered if you did the same here?


    • Tracey Williams on September 4, 2017 at 2:55 pm said:

      Hi Jamie thank you for your kind words. We always book direct with the hotel (if you book 5 nights or more direct you get free private transfers) and then we book Easyjet flights from Manchester to Thessaloniki. We usually pay around £100 each for the flights which have been during the Easter holidays. Whilst the summer holidays can be really expensive (as is everywhere) we usually pay around 2k for a week in Easter holidays. Worth every single penny as it is truly amazing x

  11. This looks wonderful. My husband and I have been scouring the internet for an all inclusive resort to go to for our next holiday. I will get him to take a look at this one. Do you know what the youngest age the kids club caters for at all? xx

    • Tracey Williams on March 7, 2018 at 3:54 pm said:

      Sorry for only just replying Emma. The kids clubs cater from age 4 (I think) but they also have crèche facilities for babies which you would need to pay for. It is an amazing hotel x

  12. Sound great. I’m really impressived by its dining experiences. I’m looking forward to experiencing it myself!

  13. Hi, this blog is so helpful and we cant wait to visit in May. Has anyone been to this hotel in October? Just wondering if the hotel was winding down in October and if the weather is warm enough?

    • Tracey Williams on January 31, 2020 at 11:32 am said:

      Hi Cath thank you for saying that. We were at Sani last October which is in the same region as Ikos Olivia, and we were blessed with 25 degrees every day. The staff were saying that was quite unusual to be so warm, but I would definitely visit during October again. The hotel facilities will be fully operational until the last day of the season x

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