A beautiful all-inclusive hotel, which ticks all the boxes of a luxurious family holiday
Brand-new 5-star hotel
All-inclusive delicious dining
Stunning beachfront location
Gorgeous white-washed villages and glitzy ports nearby
Free MINI experience and Ikos shuttle buses into Marbella book up fast
Ikos Andalusia snapshot
Hotel size: 400+ guest rooms
Grounds: 21-acres of landscaped gardens
Our Books Editor, Zoe West, wrote this Ikos Andalusia review. She, alongside her husband and two children, ate at every single one of the eight restaurants, swam in all the seven pools, hired bikes for a jaunt out to Estepona, and sampled the entertainment. Here she reveals why this is a 5* woman&home approved hotel.
Ikos Resorts began life in Halkidiki, Greece, and it has successfully redefined what it means to go on an all-inclusive holiday. The hotel chain now has five resorts and a reputation for creating destinations that feel like one of the best places to visit in Europe. Typically at Ikos, you can expect to dine out on a meal cooked by a Michelin-starred chef, watch the kids canoe, or take out an ‘Ikos MINI’ to explore the local area—it's all part of the package. So, how does its newest addition to the portfolio add up? Is it worthy of being hailed one of the world's most beautiful hotels?
w&h's Ikos Andalusia review
Ikos Andalusia—just a 20-minute drive from Malaga and Gibraltar Airport—is a stunning, contemporary hotel set on Spain’s Sunshine Coast. With more than 400 guest rooms and suites, staff on-hand to cater to your every whim, and nearby hilltop villages and glamorous ports to explore, it’s a place you’ll dream of returning to before you’ve even departed for your return flight.
What makes the setting of Ikos Andalusia special?
Ikos Andalusia lies on the southern coast of Spain in the picturesque region of Andalucia. The contemporary property provides private access to miles and miles of sand and shingle beachfront, stretching all the way towards Marbella.
The hotel itself is set right on the beach, and with more than 320 days of sun a year on Spain’s Sunshine Coast, you can’t ask for a better location (one of the reason's this region is one of the best places to visit in September). Whether you’re sitting at the beach bar, looking out from your hotel terrace, or lounging on the sand, you’re always aware you’re by the sea.
What’s the vibe of Ikos Andalusia?
Despite the hotel boasting over 400 rooms and suites, Ikos Andalusia oozes intimacy. From the staff who greet you on arrival with a welcoming smile and the promise of something cool, to the pretty 21-acres of landscaped gardens, palm-fringed pools and cozy soft furnishings in the rooms, there’s a relaxed and easy atmosphere.
By night the twinkly lights set the ambiance for the seven unbelievable restaurants, all of which have very different atmospheres. Each restaurant will take you on a gastronomic journey across Europe and beyond. Try delicious dishes created using the freshest seafood and local market produce at Fresco or experience the awe-inspiring creations of Michelin-starred chef, Anthony Jehanno, at Provence. For something a little more relaxed, there is the all-day menu of classic international dishes at the beach club.
What are the swimming pools like?
The amazing swimming pools run down the centre of the resort. There are seven including a splash pad for the babies, the family pool, and even an adults-only—each with its own unique selling point.
Service around the pool is excellent too. Snacks and drinks served all day at your leisure make life, especially with a family, a breeze. There are grass areas too, where you can relax and enjoy a cocktail. It may be a five-star hotel but it quickly feels like home.
What are the bedrooms at Ikos Andalusia like?
In keeping with the contemporary, elegant look of the hotel, the bedrooms are chic and spacious and look like they're from a magazine spread about bedroom trends. You’ll be welcomed by neutral colours with sandstone tiles and light grey furnishings as well as huge bathrooms with rainfall showers and standalone baths.
If you’re travelling with a family, their one bedroom suites allow children to sleep in a separate area to the parents for an extra slice of luxury. Depending on the room you go for, you’ll either have access to a private balcony, gardens or your very own private pool.
What are the restaurants at Ikos Andalusia like?
Often when you think of all-inclusive, you think of sub-standard buffet suppers but not at Ikos Andalusia. You have eight knock-out restaurants to choose from, which are all unique and run by impressive chefs (some of which have Michelin stars). Better yet, they all specialize in different cuisines from French to Greek, Italian, and Thai. Each one has its own vibe, so even though they are all at the same resort, you feel like you’re dining out at a different restaurant every night.
- Anaya, with its intimate and warm lighting, offers an inspiring à la carte menu from renowned Chef Thiou, which brings you the vibrant aromas and flavors of Asia and the Orient. It’s romantic and the perfect setting for a couples dinner.
- Beach Club is set on the seafront and offers a tempting all-day menu of classic international dishes in a more relaxed setting.
- Chiringuito, cocktails and tapas are freshly made and served on the beach.
- Flavors, Mediterranean dishes with a dizzying array of wines to choose from too.
- Fresco, which is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, offers delicious dishes created using the freshest seafood and local market produce from the region.
- Olivia, authentic Spanish cuisine served up with poolside and garden views.
- Ouzo is a contemporary Greek restaurant with Michelin-starred chef, Lefteris Lazarou, at the helm.
- Provence offers fine dining that will even satisfy gourmands that travel to the best foodie cities in France. Experience the delicious creations of Michelin-starred chef, Anthony Jehanno.
If you're holidaying with a fussy eater, don't fear. The Michelin-starred chefs offer up family-friendly dishes with no compromise on flavor.
If you can manage to pull yourself away from the resort, there’s a dine-out experience where you can enjoy a meal out at a nearby restaurant as part of your all-inclusive deal. We chose Tikitano (opens in new tab), a beautiful restaurant offering unbeatable views of Gibraltar. It offered typical yet delicious Mediterranean cuisine, complete with a gorgeous terrace and gardens. The sea view was incredible.
What’s the spa like at Ikos Andalusia?
What could make an all-inclusive getaway even better? A high-spec gorgeous spa of course.
Treatments and therapies are available for both men and women and include various facials, massages, scrubs, and detoxifying treatments. All treatments are matched to your specific requirements and skincare needs, making it a hugely personalized experience.
You’ll also find a hairdressers and nail salons if your beach waves or manicure are in need of some holiday pampering.
In the same area as the spa, you’ll find an indoor heated pool (with jacuzzi) as well as a thermal suite complete with a steam room and sauna. And if fitness is your thing, you’ll be spoiled with the impressive fitness studio.
What other facilities are at Ikos Andalusia?
No Ikos Andalusia review would be complete without an overview of the other standout facilities. And the good news is that whatever your interests, there’s something for you to do at Ikos Andalusia. Take to the water, jump on a bike, battle it out on the tennis courts or join a fitness class: there’s a lot to keep you happy and healthy at Ikos, and a lot of it is included at no extra cost.
In the evenings, you can enjoy everything from live music and theatre to movies and exclusive parties. There’s also fabulous live music most nights playing everything from laid-back jazz to modern tunes. Musicals, children’s shows, and movies complete the line-up to keep the kids entertained.
If you prefer a quiet drink, head to one of six inviting bars where, depending on your mood, you can find expertly mixed cocktails on the beach or a tasty aperitif in more sophisticated surroundings.
If you want a day without the kids then Ikos Andalusia runs a fabulous and full program of indoor and outdoor events to keep even the itchiest of feet busy, from tots to teens.
All clubs are carefully supervised and offer a variety of activities, so whether your kids are creative or sporty there will be something that appeals. All of the staff running the clubs are fully qualified professionals, operating in line with UK Ofsted standards, to give you that extra peace of mind.
An extra special mention has to go to their MINI Drive Adventure. Get behind the wheel of a MINI and head out to explore the local area on this complimentary experience. Enjoy the freedom of the open roads and use the Ikos Mobile App to navigate your way to some of your must-see hotspots. To make sure you don’t miss out, simply pre-book a date to suit you with Guest Services, and remember, don’t forget your driving license!
Where is Ikos Andalusia and what else can you do there?
After reading our Ikos Andalusia review you may not plan on leaving the stunning resort but if you do, you’ll be well situated to visit the historical town of Estepona. Just over seven miles away, it’s home to gorgeous whitewashed buildings and flower-filled squares. It’s one of the most popular destinations for tourists on the Costa del Sol, yet even today, it still manages to retain its old Andalusian charm.
Of course, if you’re looking for something a little glitzy, or more of a European city break vibe, there’s the playground of the rich and famous, Marbella and its neighbouring marina, Puerto Banus, just less than 14 miles away. It's a world away from Estepona but it's well worth a day trip to spot the impressive yachts and flashy cars.
Ikos Andalusia review verdict—should you book?
If you’re in need of a coastal escape with an exceptional difference, Ikos Andalusia is a great choice. This hotel is elegant, charming, and despite being newly built has tonnes of character. There are plenty of things to keep you busy and even more places to relax. It's exspensive but worth it if your budget stretchs that far (and you can always read our tips on how to find cheap holiday deals).
Practical information about Ikos Andalusia
- Room rates start from €392 (approximately £344) per night for a double room on an all-inclusive basis
- The resort is located in the region of Estepona, near Málaga in Spain
- The nearest airport is Malaga airport
- To book, visit ikosresorts.com (opens in new tab) or call 08081110131
It’s safe to say, woman&home’s Books Editor, Zoe West has read a LOT of books.
As an avid young bookworm obsessed with the adventures of The Magic Faraway Tree and the misadventures of red-haired orphan, Anne Shirley, Zoe never lost her love of reading - and the fact she now gets to do it as her job is a constant source of wonderment for her.
When Zoe isn't reading she is interviewing authors, hosting live events where she gets all the gossip, and seeking out exciting new writers she can’t wait to tell her readers about.
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