As the seat belt light is switched off, the kids eagerly unbuckle their belts. Finn darts towards the aisle, while Olivia takes refuge under her seat. All is calm. I take a minute to gaze out of the window. The sparkle of the Aegean Sea flickers beautifully as we climb higher and higher in the air, until all is left is a thin blue line. I turn my attentions to my husband and we talk fondly about our holiday. We have come away feeling relaxed and happy. Something which I didn’t think was possible with a 2 year old and a 4 year old in tow.
Before we became parents, my husband and I would holiday in boutique hotels based on the latest Conde Nast recommendation. We never thought for a minute we would ever experience luxury travel until our children were adults, but we were so very wrong.
The last eight days were spent at Luxury holiday resort – IKOS Olivia in Halkidki
Greece. A resort which really does give you a holiday. All you need to think about is which restaurant you are going to dine in and whether it is a beach or a pool day. The resort has five restaurants, access to a private sandy beach, five swimming pools some of which are adult only and some designed for babies and children.
Our days started with a breakfast at one of the restaurant. Providing a fantastic outdoor setting either by the pool, on the beach front or a cooler more opulent setting in the inside of the restaurant. Each restaurant gives you a great choice of deliciously tasting food – from yummy cooked options to fresh healthy choices, with something to suit every taste. The service was impeccable, and the staff were brilliantly accommodating particularly with the children.
Feeling snoozy after breakfast we would retreat to the beach whilst the children went to Kids Club. (Heros Creche and Heros Kids Club). The programmes seem action packed, with treasure hunts, searching for Aliens, sports, water fights, arts and crafts, picnics and much more. The staff were so amazing, and the kids loved them. The clubs were set in brightly coloured large rooms and the walls were decorated with super hero characters, with ample toilet facilities. The playground was a great size with three climbing frames perfect for little imaginations. The teaching staff were also on hand for babysitting of an evening which was perfect for familiarity.
Gareth and I had three whole hours to ourselves, so we would take the newspaper and a book and head to the beach. The beach was idyllic and lined with sun lounges and attentive beach staff who would help you with your towels, clean your sunglasses or bring you a cool drink or a snack. We really were in heaven. In fact, we were momentarily back to the old Conde Nast lifestyle. This holiday was effortless.
There are activities around the clock, should you wish to take part. Activities include, Yoga, Pilates, TRK, gym, tennis, beach volleyball, giant chess, basketball or mini football and tons more activities on the beach.
For a truly indulgent day, you could book yourself some time at the spa for a few beauty treatments, get your hair done or maybe enjoy a steam, sauna or a swim in the heated pool. I did just that and spent the afternoon at the spa, where I enjoyed the Precious Pearl Ultra lift Facial. It was 85 minutes of pure bliss. The therapist used the latest techniques and products in rejuvenation and rehydration. The therapist who carried out my facial talked me through each step as well as engaging in a little conversation to make me feel really comfortable. I felt amazing afterwards. I also treated my tired feet to a pedicure too.
We soon became friends with other families who were also staying at the resort and we would spent our afternoons with them by the pool.
Our nights were spent out at the gorgeous restaurants, enjoying the delicious food and sampling the fantastic entertainment. One evening we headed to the beach where a DJ & a Saxophonist was playing. It was magical. The kids and some of the adults danced on the beach to candle light. It was brilliant, everyone really enjoyed themselves. We couldn’t have asked for a better night.
We spent seven wonderful nights at Ikos Olivia and we didn’t feel like it was long enough. We could have easily spent another week there. Everything about that hotel was perfect, the staff, the décor, the activities, the entertainment, the cultivated gardens, the facilities, the food – we couldn’t have asked for a better holiday. It was truly special, we will be back again next year.