Grade 4.4 out of 5 Stars
Opened in May 2019, the Ikos Aria is a 5-star all-inclusive resort that is one of the premium options in Europe. The Ikos chain of resorts has become the standout chain of resorts over the last number of years in the luxury all-inclusive market and the Ikos Aria lives up to the hype.
The second you walk into the resort you will notice its stunning design and decor choices. The resort really lives up to its 5-star billing in the look and feel of it. With 375 rooms on this resort it can be considered a mid to large range offering, but don’t let the size of the resort put you off. The experience we had was very personal and had that luxury touch.
The resort is actually a great option for both couples and families as the Ikos really puts emphasis on giving different experiences to different demographics. So you really can’t go wrong vacationing here
Our review is based on our stay at the resort in a Deluxe room
Just a 20-minute drive from Kos International airport you won’t have to travel too far once you arrive on your vacay. The Ikos Aria is also conveniently located within close distance to the lovely local village of Zia. This mountainside village has some stunning views and has a wealth of local tavernas and some nice local shops.
One of the really interesting things about where this resort is located is that there are a number of historical ruins of times gone by throughout the resort. These areas have stayed protected and are cornered off and it’s nice to be able to soak up the history of the place.
Getting Around the Resort
The resort itself has a really large footprint, so in some cases walking to specific areas can take quite long, but the Ikos has you covered for this as well. There is a fleet of golf carts that have routes that cover the whole resort. It’s effectively like a bus route that runs throughout the resort. So, no matter where you need to be you can always hitch a lift. You can also order these golf carts wherever you are in the resort.
- In order to maximize the length of your stay we recommend that you try to arrive in the morning of your first day and go for an evening flight for your last day. Check-in is at 3pm, but if you arrive early the staff will check you in and you will be able to use the facilities at the resort and make the most of the all-inclusive food and drink. You will need to wait for your room, but most times you will get your room early too. The same goes for the day you are leaving. If flights permit, try to leave in the afternoon/evening as you can still use the facilities and eat and drink at the resort on the day of your departure.
- The island of Kastri is a short distance away from the beach and can be reached by swimming or using a canoe/pedalo that the resort provides. It’s definitely worth a visit as this is a quant island. There is a nice hike for those of you that are adventurers and a small church to see if you just want to have a quick mosey.
- If you are a wine lover then the Ikos resorts are for you. Typically with all-inclusives resorts, there will be one or two house wine selections that will be included in the package and any other bottles of wine will come at a premium. With the Ikos resorts they have a feature as part of their all-inclusive package called the “Wine Cave”. This gives you access to over 300 wines to choose from at no additional cost. This is one of those features that really distinguishes the Ikos as a premium spot for vacations.
- One of the issues we heard multiple guests run into before we travelled was getting reservations for restaurants. If you can decide on where you want to eat before your holiday it’s best to book them as early as possible. It may sound difficult to decide what you’re eating in two weeks time, but if you want to guarantee a table it’s a necessity. You can book into restaurants on their app or by calling the reception.
Once we arrive at the resort, the feeling of luxury and relaxation hits you on the way in. You’re greeted with a glass of bubbly and your bags are taken to meet you in your room on the other side. One of the first things you will see from reception is the stunning view of the ocean with Kastri Island in your sights.
There was no hanging about for a check-in desk. Within a few minutes, we had gone through the check-in experience and were on our way to our room. The check-in staff was really good at explaining the layout of the resort, as well as all of the features of the resort. We were staying in a deluxe room, so they also went through all of the additional features that you could make use of too.
Is the Ikos Aria family-friendly resort?
Yes, the Ikos is a family-friendly resort and there are a host of features that are specifically for families. They’re all centered around making your vacation as enjoyable as possible. This extends to the ability to request any baby accessories such as cots, booster seats. You name it and they will have it. We even saw one family with a cot on the beach. The staff does really go above and beyond to make it an enjoyable Vacay.
Kids Club Options
Heros Kids Club (Free of charge)
(Ratio: 1 adult: 8 children)
Open between the hours of 10 am – 6 pm there are multiple sessions that run throughout the day. This kids club is available for kids that are aged from 4 to 11 years old. Although some extra activities may incur an additional charge, such as for water sports or ice cream trips. The majority of activities are included in the cost of the all-inclusive.
Just 4 Teens (Free of charge)
(Ratio: 1 adult: 12 children)
The perfect place for teenagers to chill out for the day with an arcade and a host of things for them to do. Just for teens is suitable for teens aged 12+
Heroes Crèche (Additional Costs Apply)
(Ratio: Ages 4–23 months: 1 adult: 3 children / Ages 2–3 years: 1 adult: 4 children)
On average the sessions cost around €30 per child, but the price is dependent on the age range. If you book multiple sessions in a day then it only costs €50. This is the perfect option if you want to drop off the kids and have a few hours by the adult’s pool or to go for a nice meal in the evening.
There’s a host of amenities that you can use throughout the resort. You definitely won’t get bored throughout your stay. There are 5 pools to choose from, the main pool, one adult, one kid, the spa pool, and a deluxe guest-only pool. So, you shouldn’t have any issues getting a spot by the pool.
Our favorite thing to do and we were not sure if you can categorize this as an amenity, but we really enjoyed the snorkeling that you could do just off the beach. The water was very clear and the Ikos provided the equipment needed for it.
Although Greece is a truly wonderful tourist destination. The one thing that you will not find is a decent golf course. Although there are some pockets of Greece that have decent Golf courses. Sadly the area around the Ikos Aria there is none.
If you’re looking for a decent location to golf while you vacation we recommend looking at resorts in the south of Spain or the Algarve. Although you won’t find an all-inclusive resort as nice as the Ikos Aria in those areas.
Things to do during the day
The entertainment at the Ikos Aria is a little limited. If you have been to an all-inclusive before in South America or a Sandals resort you would probably be expecting a whole slate of activities throughout the day. The activities are very much centered around fitness at the Aria and all of the Ikos resorts. There is yoga, volleyball, TRX to name a few of the activities.
One of the great features of Ikos resorts is local discovery. Although the resort has a load of features and things to do in the complex. The Ikos does incentivize you to get out of the resort and explore the local area. How they do this is with the complimentary Mini one rental and the three local restaurants that are included in your all-inclusive package. The resort has 20 or so minis that guests can use, but as with everything in this resort. Book ahead to make sure you aren’t disappointed.
Things to do during the night
There is always some sort of musical entertainment that is on in the evenings. From local traditional to DJ’s it’s nice to have something playing in the background as you enjoy your evening. There are also events like white parties, kids’ discos to keep you entertained.
The beach at the Ikos Aria was really long and spacious. There was so much room for the size of the resort. Although we were staying in a deluxe room and had a secluded area. There was more than enough room throughout the beach. So, no matter what time of day you went you would find a sun lounger on the beach. This is definitely the best beach in the Ikos chain of resorts.
There is a very nice spa at the Ikos Aria. Although you do pay a premium for the treatments. It is a 5-star resort, so it’s not really a surprise that it’s pricey. The spa menu is also very large, so no matter what type of treatment you would like they most likely have it. The only main callout we had about the spa was that it was a little difficult getting a reservation. When we visited they were basically booked out for the whole week ahead. We did manage to get a massage booking for our second last day, but it was difficult. We definitely recommend booking in for treatments before you travel to secure a booking.
Throughout the stay, the service was really impeccable. Every member of staff that we had interactions with was keen to help us make our stay run as smoothly as possible. The staff that worked by the pool and beachside had to get a special shoutout. They made our days so enjoyable as we spent most of our time there. It was our anniversary one of the nights we stayed and we had organized a private dinner by the beach. Everything about it was top class and the staff were great at keeping our glasses full.
The resort was really clean throughout. We didn’t really see any rubbish or empty glasses left lying around. The staff were really good and collected empties once you were finished. The housekeeping service was also very consistent. They came at the same time each day and did a really thorough clean. It was nice to be able to plan out the day ahead and to know when to be out of the room for the cleaning.
Booking during Covid
The Ikos chain of hotels has a number of procedures and protections in place to make sure that you have a safe and enjoyable vacation. Their Covid policy is called the “Infinite Care” policy and has a host of features. Before booking it’s worth double-checking that these are still in place.
Free Antigen testing on arrival
Once you arrive at the resort you will receive a complimentary antigen test to take. Although guests aren’t required to perform an antigen test, it’s highly recommended from the Ikos that guests do use them. PCR tests can also be organized if you need one before returning to your home country, but this does come at an additional cost.
Multiple Al Fresco dining options
One of the great things about the Ikos resorts is that most of the restaurants have outdoor dining options as well as doors that open out to bring the outside in.
Touchless elements throughout the resort
The Ikos resort has really thought about the physical touchpoints that guests go through on a day in the resort. They have really optimized every area, by adding sensors to doors that open automatically, regular sanitization to door handles, and reduced points of access to name a few.
Deposit Refund Commitment Scheme
Currently, for stays in 2021, there are free cancellations up to 2 weeks prior to arrival as well as the full deposit refund too. There is no information regarding vacations in 2022, so be sure to double-check with the Ikos, to see if this benefit is still available.
The room offering at the Ikos Aria is pretty refined, which is how we like it. When there are dozens of categories of rooms. It can be a little intimidating to decide the right room for you. We’re here to arm you with the knowledge to make the right choice for your next vacation.
The rooms are broken down into four main categories. From these room types, there is the option to add the deluxe offering to most of them. The design of all of the rooms is really nicely done following the modern Greek aesthetic that is seen throughout the resort.
The most basic room on the resort, the double room is actually a perfect offering. Honestly, there is not much need for the bigger rooms if you’re a couple or two friends vacationing together. Coming in at 31sq.m it’s comparable to a well-sized hotel room. It has a large king-sized bed and a nice small seating area that opens out to a balcony.
Superior Triple Room
This is the exact same room and set-up as the double room the only difference is the occupancy. With this room, you can have three adults or two adults and a child stay in it. One of the beds is a pull-out bed though, so it might not be the most spacious if there are three adults going.
Coming in at 40sq.m you get that extra little bit of space compared to the double room. The occupancy of these rooms is also listed as three adults and one child and it offers plenty of room for families or a group of friends. Some of these rooms do come with a private garden area and the balcony area for the Junior suites is a good bit larger than the Double rooms.
There is a large bedroom with a separated living area that has a sofa that converts into three beds, so this is a great room if you’re traveling with kids or teens, and what that little bit of separation between your sleeping quarters. This suite caters to up to three adults and two kids.
The largest suite on the resort. This room comes with two separate bedrooms, a large separate living area, and two bathrooms. There is also a massive patio and private garden area here that is perfect for the kids to play in for the day. This bungalow can cater to up to 4 adults and 2 kids.
Price Range + Packages
The Ikos Aria is definitely on the premium side. The value that you get for that price is really good though. As this is one of Ikos’s more popular resorts the prices are usually a good bit more expensive than some of the Ikos’s newer offerings like Oceania. On average for the most basic room, you can expect to pay around €2,500 for 7 days for two people in a double room in the off-season of September and October and up to €4,000 during the peak months. As always make sure you shop around and think about the time of year that you are traveling if you want to bag yourself a bargain.
What’s included in the all-inclusive package
All drinks, food, amenities, and entertainment are just a few of the elements that are included with the all-inclusive. Pretty much everything you see is included. There are a few caveats to that. Things such as water sports, the items in the mini-mart, and treatments at the spa come at an additional cost.
24/7 room service is also included and has a great varied menu. We got room service a few times for breakfast and dinner. The service was really prompt and we waited no longer than 30 minutes either time, which is good going. The food also arrived hot, which is another bug bearer when we order room service. So, yet again the Ikos Aria impressed.
Food + Restaurant Options
With 8 restaurants on the resort and the option to eat in local restaurants with the “Dine out” benefit there will always be a new place to try each night. If you have visited an Ikos resort before you will be familiar with the offering as all of the restaurants are the same throughout.
The standard of food at the Ikos Aria was really good. It is one of the main selling points of the Ikos resorts. The menus at the restaurants were devised by Michelin-starred chefs and although they don’t work in the restaurants. Is good to know the dishes have been put together by top chefs.
All of the restaurants also do a great job at catering for different dietary requirements as well as having separate menus for kids and toddlers. Every place we went to had a good few veggie options and at least one vegan option too.
Ranking the Restaurants
A contemporary Greek offering with a menu that was crafted by Michelin starred chef Lefteris Lazarou. It was definitely our favorite restaurant at the resort.
The outdoor terrace at Ouzo was our favorite place to eat as the view of the ocean, mountain range, and the island in the backdrop. It was truly spectacular. The food here was also really good, it was very traditional and the Michelin starred menu was executed to a very impressive level. Our favorite dishes were definitely the Moussaka and the lamb kleftiko.
This was a close second as our favorite place in the resort. This Asian fusion restaurant had dishes from throughout Asia, with Japanese, Indian, Chinese, and Thai dishes on offer. We really enjoyed the food and the atmosphere here. Our favorite dishes were definitely the Duck and the Pad Thai. They both felt very authentic.
With a classic French menu, the dishes being served were carefully curated by Michelin-starred chef Anthony Jehanno. All of the meals that we had here from starter to dessert were really well executed. Our favorite dishes were definitely the courgette risotto and the slow-cooked beef.
We have to give a specific shout-out to Michail at Provence. He went above and beyond to make sure we had the most complete dining experience.
A Spanish restaurant whose menu is designed by acclaimed Chef David Ibarboure. Open for dinner only this spot provides a contemporary twist to Spanish cuisines. We really enjoyed our meal here and the surf and turf paella was top quality.
- Seasons (Available to Deluxe Guests Only)
Serving up Mediterranean cuisine this spot is only available to Deluxe guests. It’s open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and has a lovely selection of food. This was actually one of our favorite places to go for lunch where they have a nice selection of light dishes. The seabass was a light and refreshing dish and coupled with a glass of Taittinger you really feel like you are in the lap of luxury.
Although this is not unique to this resort, Fresco again has some stunning views overlooking the pool and the ocean. This Italian restaurant’s menu is inspired by Michelin-starred chef Ettore Botrini. The food here was a little disappointing. We found that the pasta dishes were a little bland and the pizzas lacked that authentic Italian cook.
This is the main buffet at the resort and one of the more casual places to dine. It’s open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and there is a really wide variety of food to sample. It’s pretty much like a sample of dishes from all of the a la carte restaurants on the resort, as well as some of the staples that you will find at any buffet. Like an omelet station for breakfast. It’s a great place for families but isn’t an ideal place if you want a quiet meal.
This was the one restaurant that we didn’t get to visit during our stay so we have excluded this from the rankings, but this Greek restaurant serves up authentic local food with a focus on fresh seafood.
“Dine Out” Options
Kos is a foodie town and there are loads of great options for restaurants in the area. As part of the dine-out feature, there are three restaurants that you can choose from that are included in your all-inclusive package. These are Mylotopi, Ali’s, and Limnionas. Each of the restaurants has a set menu for guests from the Ikos resort. While we only got to sample one of these restaurants while on an excursion one of the days it was well worth it. We ate at Mylotopi restaurant and the views from the outdoor terrace were unbelievable. The food was decent too but played second fiddle to the view. It’s a must-see.
Bars and Drinks Offering
All drinks at this resort are included in the price of the all-inclusive. In Europe this is fairly unique, so you need to make sure you make the most of it. There are 9 bars throughout the resort. One of them is reserved for deluxe guests and there is another adult-only bar offering.
There is a relatively good drinks selection on offer too with the likes of Absolut Vodka, Bombay Gin, Havana Club, and Campari to name a few. If you are staying in a deluxe room you will have access to more premium top-shelf options like Taittinger champagne on tap.
Is the Deluxe Status Worth it?
Deluxe rooms come at a premium. Typically rooms cost on average 30% more than the standard rooms, but for that premium, there are a host of benefits that come with it. The question is do the benefits outweigh the premium cost you need to be.
In short, we think that the premium is worth it if you’re celebrating a special occasion and looking to treat yourself, but it’s not 100% necessary as the standard rooms have a great level of luxury to them. The features that you get with Deluxe status are the following.
This is actually one of the strongest benefits. One of the negatives about the Ikos Aria is that the restaurants can be quite difficult to get bookings in when the resort is at full capacity. Although there are ways to put your best foot forward in securing the tables you want. The personal concierge service has a certain amount of tables that they can access, so by booking through them you can get priority, which is a great benefit.
Complimentary Neck and Back Massages
This again is a unique thing to offer to premium room guests. Typically premium room guests will just get access to the hydrotherapy run at the spa, but actually getting massages included in your package is kind of unheard of in all-inclusive. So, make sure you make use of this benefit if you are staying in a deluxe room. It’s a serious add-on.
Private Pool, beach area, and bar
This resort is very spacious and there is more than enough room for all of the guests at the pools and beach. The need for private areas is not as necessary compared to some of the other Ikos resorts where the space is a little bit limited. That being said the deluxe areas do have nicer sun loungers and day beds. So, if you want peak relaxation the private areas are quite nice.
At InspoVacay we believe that Tipping should be considered mandatory. The standard at this resort is top quality and the staff work incredibly hard to earn their tips. We always budget a certain amount of money towards tipping.
Unlike All-inclusive resorts in South America where you tip for every drink, we normally tip after the first round. If we know we are going to be drinking a few rounds at the bar we would try to tip 1 euro per drink. For meals, we tend to tip between 5 – 10 euro depending on the meal and quality of the service.
This resort delivers on the 5-star luxury vacation billing. There were very few areas where we could fault our experience. The food, service, and overall experience were luxurious. The standout element of the Ikos Aria compared to the other Ikos resorts is definitely the beach. The beach at the Ikos Aria is really stunning, so if chilling by the beach is your vibe. Then this is the resort for you.
You really can’t go wrong booking your next vacation here. Just to add in another variable to think through. The Ikos Andalusia currently is our top-rated Ikos resort, so check out the review.
Q. Does the Ikos Aria offer a shuttle service from the Airport
A. If you book directly through their website and you’re staying for 5 or more days, then transfers are usually included. This seems to be a consistent offer that they run but double-check on the website before booking. If you’re staying in a Deluxe room, transfers are included regardless of where you booked.
Q. Is parking available at the resort
A. Yes, parking is available for guests and it is complimentary
Q. Is Wi-Fi included
A. Yes, Wi-Fi is available to you in your suite as well as throughout the resort. We ran into no issues with the Wi-Fi. We did our typical test of streaming Netflix in various parts of the resort and there were no performance issues.