Kos is able to satisfy even the most sophisticated palates offering beautiful beaches in the Dodecanese surrounded by truly dreamlike landscapes. Kos is one of the most visited Greek Islands, able to combine its traditional soul with mass tourism.
Having had an amazing holiday at Ikos Dassia in Corfu last summer, we decided to try the new Ikos Aria, fourth resort of this luxury all-inclusive resort chain. Ikos Aria opened in May and is located on the south-west coast of the island on one of the most beautiful beaches of Kos.
This island is also known as Little Rhodes, garden of the Aegean or Island of Hippocrates and is the third largest island in the Dodecanese. Because of its proximity to Turkey, it is a fascinating combination of western and eastern elements. Kos is rich in history, in fact there are ancient ruins scattered everywhere. On the island of Kos the sun shines all year round and has a wonderful mediterranean climate with very rare rainfalls.
Do you know what “Infinite Lifestyle” means? It’s the marvelous world of Ikos Resorts and in this case of Ikos Aria. A special experience that you can share with your family as we have done with our grandson Lorenzo.
Ikos Aria is a completely all-inclusive resort, which means that the minibar in your room, room service 24 on 24, snacks and drinks at any of the various bars, including at the swimming pools and on the beach are included. Lorenzo was happy to be able to have an ice cream at any time of the day, there is an ice cream shop on site and it is free of charge!!!
Exquisite meals and an incredible range of wines await you at the 8 restaurants in the resort.
Our arrival at Ikos Aria
Unfortunately, due to a significant delay in our flight, and an endless day of waiting at the Milano Orio Al Serio Airport because of the strike of our airline, we finally landed at the Kos airport at around 10:30 pm. Walking out the airport we were immediately welcomed by our driver who, despite the delay of our flight, was waiting for us. The resort is only about 20 minutes from the airport therefore got there in a jiffy.
As we passed the security gate, slowly descending towards the main building, we immediately saw the resort in all its beauty, wow it was completely illuminated by glowing lights. It was immediately clear that this holiday was also going to be a special one.
As we arrived in front of the main entrance, we were welcomed by “George” a guest relation representative and a smiling porter immediately took over our luggage. We were given warm lemon-scented towels and escorted to the terrace where we were offered a drink. What can I say, the view on the illuminated swimming pools and Kastri Island was breathtaking.
Being quite late, George helped us quickly through the check-in formalities and escorted us to our room.
Upon stepping in our Sea view junior suite we immediately noticed the Ikos touch of elegance, a bottle of Champagne and fruits with a welcome note were waiting for us. The room is gorgeous, spacious and bright, decorated with elegance and class, the light grey shades are classy and relaxing, a huge king size bed topped with lots of pillows and a comfortable living area with a flat screen TV and sofa bed for our grandson Lorenzo. The room has lots of storage space for the three of us, a minibar stocked with miniatures, soft drinks, water and a bottle of wine which can be replenish daily; WI-FI; a Nespresso coffee machine and all you need to make yourself a cup of tea.
The bathroom is huge with two sinks and a walk in shower, Anne Semonin toiletries, two soft bathrobes and slippers.
The furnished terrace has a breathtaking view on the sea and the illuminated Island of Kastri, I can already imagine myself sitting on the comfortable chair drinking a glass of wine admiring the view!!!
Being to late to go to the restaurant, we took advantage of the room service, which is included in the Infinitive Lifestyle, available 24 hours on 24. We ordered club sandwiches for us and a hamburger for Lorenzo, our hot and delicious dinner arrived in our room in 25 minutes excellent service indeed.
Ikos Aria Overview
Ikos Aria extends itself for 19 hectares along the sea front. All the 374 rooms, suites and villas enjoy excellent views as well as an unrivaled environment: spacious and furnished balconies, private gardens and swimming pools that give that extra touch to make your holiday a special one.
The lobby’s decor in the warm colors of the earth is beautiful, classy and elegant, with lots of airy spaces and amazing views. Beautiful carved tables made out of giant tree trunks, egg-shaped rattan chairs hanging from the ceiling, several lounges where you can relax and read a book or enjoy a drink.
All-inclusive dinning and drinking
As already mentioned Ikos Aria has 8 restaurants where you can have breakfast, lunch and dinner therefore it is a feast for the palate. All the restaurants have menus created by Michelin-starred chefs and an incredibly stocked wine cellar with more than 300 types of wines, you are spoilt for choice believe me!!!
It is really difficult to tell you which is the best restaurant, as we ate divinely in each of the restaurants we tried.
Breakfast is my favorite meal, I love taking it easy in the morning enjoying my coffee and good food while, when possible admiring a breathtaking view as at Ouzo’s my favorite restaurant for breakfast .
All the restaurants for breakfast are buffet style and you will find everything you could wish for: fresh fruits and juices, croissants, cold cuts, cheese, vegetables and salads, cakes and various types of sweets, greek yogurt, pancakes and the chefs will be pleased to prepare eggs to your liking.
ANAYA the Asian à la carte restaurant, with menus created by the chef Katsuhiko Hanamure.
I would suggest you try the vegetarian spring rolls as a starter and the miso-marinated salmon with eggplant and black sesame as a main dish, athe best way to finish you meal is in my opinion with the roasted pineapple with coconut ice cream!!!!
The restaurant is open for dinner and reservation is required.
OLIVA – the Spanish à la carte restaurant, adjacent to Fresco with views on the swimming pool. Here you will be able to enjoy plates inspired to the Spanish cuisine and executed with a touch of modernity.
I would suggest that you try the paella, and must say that we tried both the vegetarian and traditional paella and they were both exquisite, absolutely had to finish our meal with the Churros and they were delicious!!!
This restaurant is open for dinner and reservation is required
FRESCO the Italian restaurant with menus created by the Michelin-starred chef Ettore Botrini.
Here you can enjoy classic and innovative creations of the Italian cuisine, prepared with fresh products that are found on the local market.
I had the Vitello Tonnato with capers and tuna sauce as a starter – the beef tagliata with rocket leaves and truffle salad as a main dish and the traditional panna cotta as desert.
Fresco is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner for the last a reservation is required.
OUZO Greek sea front restaurant with a breathtaking view, menus are created by the Michelin-starred chef Lefteris Lazarou. My favorite for lunch, just loved the outdoor BBQ and the grilled meats and vegetables were really very good. Ouzo was also my favorite for breakfast, the view on the sea and Kastri Island was incredible.
This restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner for the last a reservation is required.
PROVENCE – the French restaurant located in the main building and with menu created by the Michelin-starred Chef Anthony Jehanno.
I had the steamed mussels with Chardonnay wine and aromatic herbs as a starter, the sea bass filet with vegetable ratatouille, garlic puree and tomato and obviously had to finish with a strawberry tart, lemon curd and strawberry sorbet all was delicious.
Provence is open for dinner and a reservation is required.
KOS the Greek restaurant located in the main building with a beautiful setting, is perfect to explore the Kos Island’s traditional gastronomy. The moussaka was really good followed by a Kadaifi with vanilla ice cream.
Kos is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner for which a reservation is required.
FLAVORS the buffet style restaurant located in the main building with views on the Aegean Sea, perfect to delight every member of the family from kids to the most difficult of the palates. The choice is really incredible from seafood, meats, show cooking corner, soups, salads and vegetables and a vast choice of fruits and deserts.
We had dinner at Flavors on the last night and the theme that evening was Italy, well I had a “pasta al ragù” and as an Italian I can guarantee that it was perfectly cooked and really good.
Flavors is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner no reservation required
DINE OUT EXPERIENCE in addition to the above mentioned restaurants, you also have the possibility to dine at 3 restaurants outside the resort at no extra cost as included in the “Infinite Lifestyle”.
Ali is located in Kos Town, Limionas where you will be able to admire a spectacular sunset and Milotopi with its breathtaking view.
Every evening, before dinner, we would go to the lobby lounge or at the white terrace for a drink and enjoy the view and music.
Remember that for the à la carte restaurants you need to make a reservation for dinner and don’t forget the dress code is casual chic.
Swimming pools, beach and archaeological sites
The dimension of Ikos Aria are really impressive. Beyond having a very long beach the buildings perfectly integrate themselves with the surrounding landscape. The small Island of Kastri can be seen from any point of the resort, you can reach the island either swimming or with the pedalo. When you get to the island, for those who are in good shape, a short but challenging climb has to be done to reach the white and blue church of Agios Nikolaos, ringing the bell located outside the church is a ritual. At night this small church is illuminated and believe me it is spectacular. Every day my husband and Lorenzo, would take the pedalo and reach the Island to climb up to the church and ring the bell.
At the center of the beach of Kefalos, you can see the ruins of the Basilica of Agios Stefanos: not every resort have the chance to have an archaeological site in their hotel!!!!
However, the most surprising thing is that, during the construction of the resort, an archaeological site has been discovered right in the middle of the resort itself. The site has been expertly brought to light and fenced in such a way to allow guests to admire it.
The resort also boasts various swimming pools, some with incredible sea views, some for adults only and also a splash pad for the littlest ones. All are carefully kept and equipped with comfortable sun loungers and soft beach towels. Smiling and courteous staff will take care of you and do their best to make your holiday a special one. All the swimming pools have a bar where you can order drinks and even lunch to be consumed directly under your umbrella.
The long beach, with white sand, is the best place to sunbathe and relax on comfortable sun loungers with soft towels. Beach service is also available throughout the day, courteous and smiling staff will bring you the food and drink menu for you to chose and promptly deliver your meal or drink under your umbrella. Lorenzo loved having a snack after his afternoon swim.
There is plenty to do during the day, whether you are at the pool than beach, you will enjoy countless activities to do and all or almost are free of charge.
You will not have the time to get bored!!! In fact, you can start the day doing yoga or Pilates, play tennis, use the mountain bikes available for the guests to wander around the resort or on the nearby hills. If you like water sports you can do canoeing, paddling and pedalo to explore the Island of Kastri (at no charge once per day for 30 mins).
If you can’t do without excersizing during your holiday, no problem the Fitness studio at the SPA is perfect for you. In short at Ikos Aria you have all you need to make your holiday unforgettable.
What about the children and the teenagers!!!!!
No worry at Ikos Aria children and teenagers will not have the time to be bored, as really exciting activities (in and out of the water) have been thought for them, while the parents can relax knowing that their kids are in good hands at the Kids Club.
Heros Crèche for small children from 4 to 23 months (1 adult very 3 children) and from 2 to 3 years old (1 adult every 4 children) – (this service is at a extra charge).
Heros Kids Clubs for children from 4 to 12 years old (1 adult every 8 children) – free of charge (extra charges may occur for water sports or ice cream trips).
Jus 4teens for children from 13 years old (1 adult every 8 children) – free of charge (extra charges may occur for water sports).
During the day many activities are organized as by different age groups as: arts and crafts, sports, cooking, water sports, swimming and various games.
WK football academy is also available for children from 5 to years old and from 9 to 14 years old (this activity is at an extra charge).
Once a week the beach is set up for the White Party. We really enjoyed the evening, we danced bare feet on the beach at the sound of live music. Candles are placed along the paths and pools of the Resort creating and enchanted atmosphere.
Lorenzo really liked going each evening after dinner at the theater where musicals and shows are put on.
Ikos has really thought of everything to make your holiday perfect for you and your kids!!!
At the discovery of Kos with the Blue Mini!!!!!
During your stay at Ikos Aria you will also have the opportunity, in addition to all the benefits listed above, to have, for one day, upon reservation and at no cost, the use of a Mini Cooper. The only obligation is to refuel the mini before returning it to the resort. Ikos want to encourage their guests to explore the island in complete freedom, and believe me it’s really worth it.
On the chosen day, all we did was collect the keys from the reception and venture out with the brand new Mini Cooper Blue to explore the island. We spent a beautiful day visiting first the city of Kos, then Zia a charming little village perched on the mountain where we had lunch and ended with the forest of Plaka we where walked among the peacocks.
If you are like me and love to be pampered, well all you have to do is go to the Anne Semonin Paris SPA . It is a refined and serene environment, where you can choose from a range of personalized treatments performed by expert therapists. Obviously I had to get a massage done and it was one of the best and most relaxing I’ve ever had!!!
At the SPA you can enjoy a indoor heated pool with an incredible view on the Aegean Sea, a Fitness Studio with state-of-the-art equipment and cardio-fitness facilities, relaxation area, thermal suite with steam bath & sauna.
A hairdressing and nail salon is also available at a charge.
As there was availability we decided to try the Deluxe Collection experience, which turned out to be truly the top.
If all that is offered to you is not enough or if you really want a unique experience, in utmost luxury, well then you must try the Deluxe Collection which aims to meet the most demanding guests.
The suites are located in an exclusive area of the resort with dedicated reception, swimming pool and private beach. The “Seasons” à la carte mediterranean restaurant, exclusive to guests of the Deluxe Collection, is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Guests of the Deluxe Collection can take advantage of the exclusive benefits such as a dinner on the beach, a bottle of Tattinger, a minibar with fine spirits, a pillow menu and also two complimentary neck and back massage per stay. Plus many other benefits that I will let you discover.
I must say that our stay at the Deluxe Collection was really pleasant, the service is excellent, at both the standard than Deluxe section, but the extra touch in the Deluxe Collection makes your holiday a really special one!!!
The lobby and the reception of the Deluxe section are elegant and sophisticated, tastefully furnished.
After dinner it was very nice to relax and have a drink at the bar, sitting in comfortable arm chairs or sofas, making plans for the next day.
Our seafront suite with private garden was really nice and comfortable, every morning we would find clean beach towels on the sun loungers. Entering our suite we found a bottle of Tattinger and a really nice beach bag. When returning to our suite after dinner we always found a good night sweet, a very nice little touch which was much appreciated by Lorenzo.
Breakfast at the Seasons overlooking the pool was very enjoyable, not to mention the vast choice of fruits and vegetables, cheese, cold cuts, sweets and cakes of the buffet and the à la carte menu.
The beach and private pool, at exclusive use of the Deluxe Section guests, was the ideal place to relax with everything close at hand, incredibly comfortable sun loungers by the pool and Balinese beds on the beach, where unique cocktails and snacks were served.
Dinner on the beach was a really nice experience, dining in the moonlight with the sound of the sea and a spectacular view was the icing on the cake.
A unique experience!!!!
I would like to spend a few words on Ikos Aria’s staff who proved to be truly exceptional, helpful, efficient and always smiling. It had never happened that on 7 days to not receive a smile and Kalimera or Kalispera, whenever we would cross paths with someone of the staff. Thank you for the wonderful week we spent with you.
A special thank you to Dimitra and Antonia two wonderful persons, who went out of their way to make our stay unforgettable.
To say that everything was perfect is an understatement, in fact I think that Ikos Aria in Kos is an exceptional resort. A luxury all-inclusive where hospitality and the guests come first, where the highest quality standards and unmatched service are offered. The catering is at the top as well as the elegant and refined environments that are located on one of the most beautiful beaches of Kos. The word “no” is not part of their vocabulary and everything is aimed at making the guests feel important and pampered.
Disclaimer: this article was written by me after a week spent at Ikos Aria in Kos with my husband and grandson Lorenzo. The stay was duly paid as was not a gratuity for promotional purposes.