Review: Ikos Andalusia
Located between Marbella and Estepona, at the foot of the La Concha mountains and overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, Ikos Andalusia is the fifth property within the IKOS collection and its first outside Greece.
Opened in May 2021, the resort is spread over 21 acres of pristine green and beautifully landscaped gardens. Offering 393 rooms, ranging from superior doubles to two-bedroom suites with private pools, as well as plenty of inter-connecting rooms which are perfect for families. Rooms and suites are spacious, contemporary and stylish with beautifully designed interiors, and all offer views to either one of the resort’s six heated swimming pools or directly to the beach and sea.
The resort is very environmentally friendly, has an excellent sustainability programme, with 100 per cent of its electricity renewably-sourced. It also uses biomass to provide hot water, has a zero use plastics initiative, and maximises the use of local and organic produce while supporting the local communities nearby.
Staff are extremely professional, super friendly and genuinely warm; they create an authentic welcoming atmosphere that carries on throughout the whole of a guest’s stay.
This resort caters for all. You can opt to do absolutely nothing and be waited on hand and foot, or, you can choose to be active and throw yourself into the whole host of activities available both in and out of the resort.
For those with a weakness for a pamper session, there’s the Anne Sémonin Paris spa with its indoor swimming pool, steam room, sauna, hot beds and relaxation area, not to mention treatment rooms, and there’s even an onsite hairdresser.
This year sees a new outdoor gym added to the resort, complementing its state-of-the-art indoor gym. Guests can partake in daily classes, ranging from yoga and Pilates to TRX and circuit training; all are run by brilliant and qualified instructors.
Meanwhile, for the children, there’s Heroes Village. It’s the onsite kids club, spanning indoor and outdoor spaces, and operated in line with OFSTED standards. The crèche takes babies from four months to three years, the Kids Club from aged four to 12, and Just4Teens Club from 13 to 17-years-old. Daily activities vary according to age and include arts, crafts and cooking masterclasses.
For young footballers, Ikos Andalusia is launching a new collaboration with Football, offering expert and celebrity-led sessions on key dates in April, July and August. Two tennis courts are also available along with an outdoor playground, table tennis and basketball area, along with pedalos, paddle boards and canoes.
Guests can also enjoy a variety of environmental and cultural experiences too, with programmes suitable for the whole family. Younger guests can discover what it’s like to be a marine explorer and learn about dolphins, sea birds, as well as the local biodiversity; older guests, meanwhile can visit local wineries, museums and monuments as well as go hiking, biking and bird watching.
Drag yourself away from the resort, and try the new Ikos Golden Mile bike experience. Enjoy the spectacular scenery as you ride along the coastal route, which runs all the way to the charming old town of Estepona. This in itself is worth a visit, with its cobbled, flower-filled streets, and pavement cafes, shops and historic churches and cathedrals. Stretching over five miles along the Costa del Sol, bikes of all sizes can be hired for free, and the ride is pretty flat so it’s accessible for those around eight and above.
As part of its commitment to the environment, the resort offers a local drive adventure with Tesla electric cars available to loan at no extra cost. This gives guests to get a real feel for the area on the open road and head to the Marbella coast or to the pine-laden hills of the Sierra de Mijas, with its beautiful white houses.
For golf enthusiasts, guests can take advantage of a complimentary green fee at a choice of golf courses, including the exclusive Los Naranjos Golf Course in Nueva Andalucia.
Culture lovers can also take advantage of complimentary tickets to Malaga’s Pablo Picasso Museum, Pompidou Centre and Vintage Automobiles & Fashion Museum.
Guests are in for a gastronomic treat whatever their age. Think Michelin-starred menus, 24-hour room service, and signature cocktails created by top mixologists.
Seven restaurants, offering breakfast, lunch and dinner, with a wide selection of a la carte dining options are available to choose from although booking is encouraged for dinner slots. Highlights include Anaya, with its fabulous Asian menu created by Chef Thiou, and Provence, with an imaginative menu created by Michelin-starred chef Anthony Jehanno.
Spanish restaurant Oliva offers tapas, paellas and seafood and meat dishes including Iberico pork, while Beach Club, with its prime sea views, offers mouth-watering dishes such as Passion fruit burrata with citrus dressing and fresh mint, smoked baby chicken with lemon, thyme, garlic, freshly curcuma and ginger, and plenty of dessert options.
A little ice-cream kiosk near the children’s pool is a thoughtful addition to the resort, serving ice-creams with toppings including marshmallows and M&Ms.
There’s also an efficient and friendly waiter service to sun loungers, knowledgeable sommeliers to hand to guide you through the wine list (which boasts more than 300 international wine labels), so you’ll never be without a choice of drink to hand.
Entertainment varies from live music ranging from laid-back jazz to modern tunes, there are also children’s shows and movies for families to enjoy in its specially designed outdoor theatre.
THE FINAL WORD
Named as the world’s number one luxury all-inclusive resorts in 2021, Ikos has really redefined the limitless luxury concept for the discerning and affluent traveller, with the added bonus of not being faced with a large credit card bill post-holiday. It’s a winning formula.
Prices start from £367.00 per day for a Superior Double Room Sea View for two people. For direct bookings via ikosresorts.com, transfers are included and the first child up to the age of 12 stays for free. Transfers from Malaga airport to the property take approximately 45 minutes.
British Airways flies to Malaga from London Gatwick and Heathrow with flights starting from £94.72 including baggage.