Continuing its march across Greece is Ikos Resorts with its latest opening – Ikos Dassia – found on the charming island of Corfu. For those with a penchant for stylish holidays in the Med, the group may have already had an impact on how you spend your time away from home, for it has been making a name for itself over the last few years with its genius luxury take on all-inclusive holidays. Forget budget drinks and arm-wrist labels, however, this is all-inclusive created with style and finesse.

Ocean views from the Sea building(Credit: Ikos Dassia)

With two five-star resorts already found in Halkidiki, Ikos has had rave reviews due its unique ‘Infinite Lifestyle’ offering. The idea is simple: excellent service levels, restaurants conceived by Michelin-starred chefs, 24-hour in-room dining, all-day beach service and design-led rooms and public spaces.

The main Pool(Credit: Ikos Dassia)

The new opening is no exception – except it’s even prettier than its predecessors. Perched on the Bay of Dassia – a highlight are the far-reaching (and ridiculously pretty) views over the Ionian Sea (with heart-stopping sunsets, too). Spread across two main buildings – Sea and Sky – each with their own lobby, shops, bars, restaurants and pools – the resort feels super-spacious. Set in 23 acres of immaculate grounds, the two sites are linked by tropical gardens, filled with fragrant blooms, herb gardens and olive trees, and a beachfront promenade giving the illusion that there are only a handful of guests in situ.

Most rooms have sea views(Credit: Ikos Dassia)

Kids (and adults) will be in their element with bikes to hire to tour the resort, seven heated pools to dive into and a selection of organised activities. There are also floodlit tennis courts, table tennis tables, astro-turf football pitches and basketball courts. Water-babies will love the ‘car pedalo’ boats, windsurfing, canoing and kayaing on offer. As well as the wide selection of sports on offer, not to mention the kids’ clubs, there’s also a long sandy beach for some me-time, with waiter service and luxury loungers for chilling in the sun. While Ikos is ideal for families, it’s worth noting that it also gives a nod to child-free visitors with adults-only areas including some pools, stretches of the beach and some service times in a few restaurants – keeping everyone happy. The Deluxe Collection is also worth considering for a special trip away. The ramped-up level of your stay is a sort of VIP option and includes the highest level of personalised service, complimentary spa treatments, in-room Champagne Taittinger and exclusive areas of the resort.

A slick design ethos gives the Ikos signature touch(Credit: Ikos Dassia)

Overall, however, an Ikos stay makes for easy holidaying. Bedrooms are stylishly conceived, with a palette that echoes the Greek colours – china blue, icy silvers and white – and have luxury design touches, such as velvet bedsteads, statement lighting and polished floors. The collection of 411 bedrooms, suites and villas come in a variety of combinations to suit all sizes of family – from couples to extended families – with rooms featuring balconies, private gardens and some with their own pools.

Chic check-in(Credit: Ikos Dassia)

Public spaces, meanwhile, have flashes of sumptuousness – with quiet reading corners to be found, ideal for a solo cappuccino, accessorised with hip hexagonal tables and wicker chairs. Breezy terrace areas have comfy sofas and waiter service for drinks to watch the sun set, while the lobby areas have living walls and contemporary décor inspired by the ocean.

The Fresco restaurant(Credit: Ikos Dassia)

Like all Ikos properties, the highlight is the culinary offering: there are six à la carte restaurants spearheaded by Michelin-star chefs, two casual buffet restaurants, round-the-clock room service, a choice of bars offering signature cocktails devised by award-winning mixologists and an impressive range of wine choices. It’s a class act.

Anaya Asian restaurant(Credit: Ikos Dassia)

Ouzo, for instance, is the classic Greek restaurant with menus by chef Lefteris Lazarou. The sea-front eaterie is a light-drenched space, with all-white décor and fragrant lemon trees, and offers a fine-dining take on hearty Greek dishes – think: ‘Shrimps Saganaki cooked with Limnio Wine, Tomatoes and Oregano’ and ‘Lamb Kleftiko with Potato Purée’.

The casual Flavors buffet restaurant(Credit: Ikos Dassia)

Anaya, on the other hand, travels to Asia for inspiration. Consultant Japanese chef Katsuhiko Hanamure (Katsu) brings dishes from Thailand, India and China together, served in a moody dining room that is slick and sophisticated. Start with ‘Tom Yum Kung Thai Spicy Soup with Shrimps’ or ‘House Gyoza with Chicken and Teriyaki Sauce’ and move on to ‘Hoisin Duck with Daikon Purée and Pickled Cucumber’ or ‘Kung Pao Tofu with Vegetables and Cashew Nuts’. To end there’s ‘Choco Balls with Lemongrass Ice Cream’ or ‘Roasted Pineapple with Coconut Ice Cream’.

The Sky Lobby Bar(Credit: Ikos Dassia)

As well as Fresco, the Italian option, Provence from France, the modern Ergon Deli – Kerkyra is not to be missed. It harnesses the best of local Corfu island cuisine in a setting that has a beachy vibe with rattan furniture, sea views and driftwood features. The menu features standouts such as ‘Seabass Carpaccio with Orange Salad, Fennel and Sweet Paprika’ and ‘Corfu–Venice Risotto with Cuttlefish Ink and Orange Zest’, conceived by Michelin-star chef Hector Botrini, who is better known for his Corfu Etrusco restaurant, ranked 68th on the list of the world’s best restaurants.

The spa pool(Credit: Ikos Dassia)

In fact, one of the delights in staying at Ikos Dassia is the focus on Corfu as a destination and the resort has a specially devised Local Discovery concept, incorporating a series of complimentary experiences that encourage guests to explore the island. While there is plenty to do to keep you busy in the resort – evening entertainment includes live music and shows and the Anne Semonin Spa has a range of pampering therapies, plus there are two gyms – guests are nonetheless actively encouraged to get out and about. The Dine Out option, for instance, offers guests a range of local tavernas and restaurants where you can eat at no extra cost.

Rex, found in the centre of Corfu old town, on the historic Kapodistriou Street, is a good choice. The family-run restaurant was founded in 1932 and offers a range of Greek classic dishes – such as ‘Octopus in Vinegar’, ‘Veal Sofrito’ and ‘Pastitsado’. Meanwhile, a visit to Vido Island Restaurant, situated on a private island just off the coastline of Corfu Town, is like setting out on a mini-adventure – reached by boat, it is found in a glorious setting that oozes the very essence of what you imagine the ultimate Greek holiday to be.

Corfu Town(Credit: Ikos Dassia)

Best of all, though, is the Mini Drive Adventure, whereby guests can hire out one of the hotel’s Mini Coopers for the day. Making exploring easy, the cars come with a Sat Nav with places of interest pinpointed – including Palaiokastritsa, one of the most beautiful beaches on the island, Mon Repos, a heritage palace situated on the hilltop of Analipsis and Canal d’Amour, an idyllic area featuring unique sandstone formations that form a series of coves and canals. Guests are also offered a museum pass to visit one of the three top museums on the island – Capodistrias Museum, the only museum dedicated to Ioannis Capodistrias, first Governor of Greece and senior European diplomat, Casa Parlante Museum, providing a true insight into bygone Corfu and The Antivouniotissa Museum, showcasing post-Byzantine religious art.

Up next from the group is Ikos Aria found on the island of Kos – which is due to open in May 2019. Expect a unique immersive take on holidaying: Greek style.

Rates at Ikos Dassia start from €230/£205 approx. per night based on two people sharing a double room. To book, visit ikosresorts.com/resorts/ikos-dassia or call +30 23730 95300.

 

 



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