Our 3rd visit to Ikos Olivia and why we keep returning

You may wonder why we keep on returning to the same hotel. The World is vast, with an abundance of beautiful locations, stunning hotels, and cities to explore. And whilst we love to to visit new places, the pull of Ikos Olivia is too hard to ignore. We first visited this luxury 5* hotel back in 2016, and after going to Mexico last year, I was ready to return to my little slice of heaven.

Where is Ikos Olivia and how do you get there

Ikos Olivia is in the beautiful Halkidiki region on mainland Greece, and you fly from the UK into Thessaloniki airport. The airport is around a 45 minute drive from Ikos Olivia, and as we always book direct with the hotel, complimentary private transfers are included. We were really lucky on this trip, as from landing, to being sat in the air conditioned Mercedes car, was twenty minutes.

We tend to book with easyJet flying from Manchester, and typically pay around £100pp when we go in April. They fly to Thessaloniki a few times a week, and you will no doubt be on one of the first flights out of Manchester. We have got used to the 6am flight now, and the earlier the flight, the quicker you get your first holiday cocktail.

Relaxing at Ikos Olivia

I instantly feel relaxed the minute I walk into the marbled reception area, and it honestly felt like returning to our second home. We were once again welcomed back like family by Timos (the manager at Olivia), and this is one of the many reasons why we will keep returning. You are made to feel special from the minute you arrive, to the minute you leave. From the gardeners to the beach buddies, the bartenders to the management, everybody has a smile, and will make sure everything is to your satisfaction. That to me is 5* service.

The reception at Ikos Olivia

Relaxing at Ikos Olivia

We had had a really busy and stressful few months leading up to our holiday, and we were looking forward to a week of relaxation. The only decisions we had to make were whether we would be going to the beach or pool first, and which restaurant we were going to dine in. It was a tough 7 days, especially with the addition of the new day beds, on the deluxe section of the beach. And who can’t resist a Pina Colada delivered to your bed, a good book, and the sound of the waves in the background.

Deluxe Beach at Ikos Olivia

Ikos Olivia Activities and Entertainment

If relaxing is not for you, there is plenty to keep both adults, and kids entertained. On our previous visits to Ikos Olivia we have hired bikes, played table tennis, taken a pedalo out, played football, which are all included in your holiday. There is a full list of the complimentary activities on their website, and entertainment is on most evenings.

In addition to the activities, there is also the kid’s club that is included in the price of your holiday. As both of mine are now teenagers, kid’s clubs are no longer needed (how I wish I had discovered Ikos when they were little). I spoke to a few families whilst we were there, and they said the kid’s clubs were very well organised, and that their children had enjoyed them.

Are the pools heated at Ikos Olivia

I get asked this question alot, especially over on instagram where I was sharing our holiday. The answer is YES, and as we always visit in April, you definitely need a heated pool at this time of year. The picture below was taken on the coldest day whilst we were there, and despite the pool being empty, these two declared it was like swimming in a bath. As we were staying in the Deluxe section, we spent our days around this pool which was right outside our bungalow suite.

Ikos Olivia Deluxe Pool

Deluxe bungalow suite at Ikos Olivia

The beach pool at Ikos Olivia

The food and drink at Ikos Olivia

Menus created by Michelin starred chefs, four a la carte restaurants, the best buffet we have ever visited, 24 hour room service (there is nothing like a club sandwich at 1am), premium cocktails, a choice of 300 wines, snack menus, fully stocked mini bar which gets re-filled daily.

Ikos Olivia wine

And if that’s not enough, Ikos Olivia also offer a dine-out service. A chance to eat out at a local restaurant, all whilst using your all-inclusive benefits. We dined at Ithaki, a traditional Greek restaurant a few minutes walk from Ikos Olivia. We all agreed that the food was delicious and very good quality, and we had a lovely evening at this cosy and traditional restaurant.

Anaya at Ikos Olivia

Breakfast in Provence - Ikos Olivia

A la carte breakfast at Ikos Olivia

The accommodation at Ikos Olivia

You can choose to stay in the main hotel at Ikos Olivia, or in one of the bungalow suites that have a garden, pool or sea view. What I personally love about the bungalow suites is the space you get. Plenty of room for Mum, Dad and a 13 year old girl who has packed her own bedroom!! Plus they even have USB and UK plugs in the bedroom, which certainly helps when you are charging devices whilst trying to get ready of an evening. And we even joked about having our very own ‘instagram wall’ in the garden.

Plus Size dress from Asda

As we had been upgraded into the deluxe section, our suite was overlooking the deluxe pool. This was a brilliant location, as only a few short steps and you were in the pool, and a few more and you found yourself at the deluxe bar. Ikos Olivia is a fairly small resort, and is mainly flat and easy to get around, so I would imagine there is no such thing as a bad location for your room or suite.

Ikos Olivia in Greece

Champagne at Ikos Olivia

Hiring a Mini Cooper for the day (Now Teslas)

One thing that is new for this year are the Mini Coopers (Ikos Olivia have now changed the Mini Coopers to Teslas). These are complimentary, and are available for you to take out for the day and explore beautiful Halkidiki. You just need to pre-book and make sure you bring a valid driving licence. Whilst me and Hywel never drive when we go abroad, I do think it’s a great idea from Ikos, plus you can arrange a packed lunch with the hotel for your day of exploring.

Mini Cooper hire at Ikos Olivia

Why do we keep returning to Ikos Olivia

I could write a huge list of reasons why we visit, but the ONE thing above all else, is the staff. You could have the biggest and most luxurious hotel in the world, but if you don’t have the staff delivering the service, then people won’t return. The staff and management at Ikos Olivia go out of their way to make you feel special, and this is why we will keep returning to the hotel.

I booked our very first holiday to Ikos Olivia, after I read a blog post by Katie from Mummy Daddy Me. She had the opportunity to visit the hotel, a few weeks before it opened, and as soon as I read her blog post I KNEW I had to visit.

We paid for our holiday which cost £300 for the flights with easyJet, and £1700 for our bungalow suite for the week (we were kindly upgraded into the deluxe section) for the 3 of us in April. We also spent a grand total of 55 euros over the 7 days. We are never asked to share anything on my blog or social media, but if you know me, you know I could talk about Ikos Olivia all day. If you have any questions, please ask away.

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

Our 1st visit to Ikos Olivia

Our 2nd visit to Ikos Olivia

10 reasons to stay at Ikos Olivia

Finding luxury cuisine at Ikos Olivia


16 thoughts on “Our 3rd visit to Ikos Olivia and why we keep returning”

  1. What a brilliant read Tracey – full of information and in particular invaluable to me as I am looking for a place to go for a Welshot Team Planning Retreat next year – I think you have just found it for me.

    • Aw thank you for saying that. It would be perfect for a planning retreat as it is such a chilled out hotel. And obviously there is the small matter of amazing food and drink as well x

  2. The cost of you holiday is a lot less then I thought it would be, what a bargain for such a lovely hotel. It sounds like such a friendly hotel, ideal for a family break. We have been looking for honeymoon ideas and I really fancy Greece so will check this one out xx

    • It really is such good value as we go right at the start of the season. Obviously the weather can be hit and miss at this time of year, but I can cope with that. It would be perfect for a honeymoon, and we are looking to renew our vows there in 2021 x

  3. It all looks so wonderful, I’m really surprised at the price I was expecting it to be double that cost! It’s hard to go anywhere else when you find somewhere you really love, I’m exactly the same x

    • I can see us still going back there in years to come, even when the kids have all flown the nest. The price can be really good value when you go out of season, though the weather can be hit and miss x

  4. I can definitely see why you keep going back! It sounds like a very good price too. I like the idea that you can dine outside the complex on the all-inclusive rate and the Minis look like a very good idea! Relaxing isn’t my strong point, so I would definitely be going out cycling!

    • We usually have a good mixture of activity and relaxation, but this holiday was definitely more relaxing and it was wonderful. The price is really good out of season, hence the reason why we keep going back. We are hoping to renew our wedding vows there in a few years time x

    • Thanks Susan, we fell in love with the hotel and it just keeps drawing us back there. The food is the best we have ever had at an all-inclusive hotel, it’s definitely 5* x

  5. Hi – have loved Ikos and Olivia. However planning to go to The Grand At The Moon next year and would be interested on your view as to how they compare (I have read your Grand review). I know they are different and I think I will be trading serenity for more excitement for a 13 year old! But are they truly comparable I terms of food/service/accommodation.

    Thanks in advance!

    • Hi and lovely to hear from you.

      There is no mistaking that they are both amazing hotels. The Grand definitely has the WOW factor with the amazing lobby, but with it being such a huge resort you do lose the more personal service that you get from Ikos. Having said that they are both 5* hotels and both offer amazing service.

      In terms of accommodation, I personally thought Ikos was more luxurious, though if I had never been to Ikos I would certainly think The Grand was amazing (Ikos does offer a VERY HIGH benchmark for any future holidays, which I guess you know !!). We did love having the swim up suite at The Grand, and there was plenty of room for us and two teenagers.

      The food on offer at both hotels is very very good, and The Grand obviously offers much more choice with the scale of the whole resort. Though if I was being honest, the food at Olivia slightly wins for us over The Grand.

      Really hard to compare as yes The Grand offers so much more than Olivia in terms of entertainment and activities, and I think you have hit the nail on the head. Much more excitement for your 13 year old at The Grand, but yes losing the calm nature you get with Olivia.

      I’m really glad we went to The Grand as it’s been on my list to go to for 17 years, but my heart is definitely with Olivia. Both amazing hotels and offer amazing holidays.

      Tracey x

  6. Thank you that’s really helpful; I have booked The Grand and your reply helps to reassure.

    Thinking maybe a week in Ikos at May half term (Dassia) might also work!


  7. Thank you Tracey, your blogs are very helpful to similar families like ours

    Did Ikos offer you any compensation or benefits for writing this review?


    • Thank you Stewart. Below is the final paragraph of my review. I hope that answers your question about compensation and benefits from Ikos.

      We paid for our holiday which cost £300 for the flights with easyJet, and £1700 for our bungalow suite for the week (we were kindly upgraded into the deluxe section) for the 3 of us in April. We also spent a grand total of 55 euros over the 7 days. We are never asked to share anything on my blog or social media, but if you know me, you know I could talk about Ikos Olivia all day. If you have any questions, please ask away.


Leave a Comment