I’m well and truly on a mission to find the very best family-friendly luxury hotels on the market! And this time I not only had my pre-schooler in tow… I had my brand new baby, Noah! A brand name that comes up time and time again in the luxury family travel market is ‘Ikos,’ a hotel group that promises to have ‘redefined the luxury all-inclusive’ holiday. Owned by the same people as the marvellous Sani Resort in Halkidiki, and based on multiple word-of-mouth recommendations from friends, I knew the Ikos brand would be great choice for our first hotel as a family of four!
The Concept of Ikos Resorts
Ikos Resorts are a group of luxury five star hotels located in various destinations in Greece and Spain. Each hotel has a distinct character owing to it’s unique surrounding but they all have the same brand concept, luxury service, top level cuisine, beach front location with multiple pools and activities. There are currently seven Ikos resorts with five being in Greece (including the new Odisia in Corfu) and two in Spain (including brand new Ikos Porto Petro in Mallorca) all following the overarching concept. The USP of the resorts is Unconditional Luxury and a totally all inclusive stay. I questioned this… does that mean there’s a set menu included but you pay for extras? Is there a bog standard wine/ cocktail included and pay for the good stuff? Are we going to end up paying through the nose for child care? The answer is no. It really is all inclusive. That means luxury food menus (including room service and mini bars) top level wines and cocktails, child care for 4 – 17 years old (there is an extra cost for under 4’s), activities, shows, even a Tesla for the day… it’s all included!
The Deluxe Collection
At the Ikos Resorts you can opt to elevate your stay even more, as we did, and stay in the Deluxe Collection. The Deluxe Collection offers signature suites in the best locations around the hotel. Booking a deluxe collection suite gives access to to the deluxe areas of the hotel. At Porto Petro this was the Seasons restaurant for breakfast and lunch (other guests can dine there for dinner), the Deluxe bar, the Deluxe pool and apparently a dedicated area in the beach though I didn’t see this! You can see the extra deluxe offerings at a glance on the hotel website and I’ll be referring back to them in this review.
Ikos Porto Petro – Location and Why we Chose it
With multiple options for hotel location, why did we choose Porto Petro? Well firstly the hotel was brand new, it only opened around two months before we stayed, which was long enough to iron out a few teething problems which I saw come up on TripAdviser. The beauty of the hotel being in Mallorca meant a shorter flight which was important to us for our first trip as a family of four (it all went very well though, Oscar is used to flying now and Noah just slept) and the Greek hotels are just that bit further away. We were also travelling with Mr S’s parents and Mr S’s sister and her children and Mallorca was always a very beloved destination for their family. This was actually my third time going with his family but they’ve been many times before. By the way, book through Ikos and your airport transfer is included!
The hotel is southeast coast of the island by Mondrago National Park, and a short walk from it’s namesake, Porto Petro Marina. The scenery around is absolutely gorgeous and I’ll let the pictures speak from themselves.
The hotel itself is sprawled out across a large setting so it never feels crowded in each area and there are multiple pools, restaurants, bars and beaches. There’s no need to worry if you struggle to walk long distances or negotiate steep hills, there are guest buggies to take you to your destinations. Accessibility is key for us with Mr S’s elderly parents and our small children. Another thing that makes your stay a breeze is an easy to use app to plan your stay, book restaurants and child care, see what’s on for the day and view a map. The hotel also gives you what’s app access to concierge (the deluxe concierge for Deluxe Collection guests) for any questions and additional bookings. Ikos allow you to book three restaurants for dinner in advance of your stay while luxury collection guests can book as many as they want. Admittedly restaurant booking was a bit of a head ache in advance of our stay but hopefully an issue which they will iron out.
We stayed in a deluxe one bedroom suite which was perfect for the four of us. The deluxe one bedroom suite is around 60 square metres and is made up of a bedroom, separate living area, bathroom and balcony.
Being a brand new hotel, everything feels very fresh and new. I loved the slightly rustic vibes to the decor and the minimalist look. The main bedroom was very comfortable and Mr S and Oscar actually shared this bed!
The living room was shared by Noah and I and as he is still exclusively breastfeeding we are often up multiple times in the night so it was good to be able to close the doors to the bedroom and not disturb Oscar and Mr S. As you can see I drew the short straw with the sofa bed but I was very pleased with the cot provided for Noah. It was very safe and clean and despite being quite large he slept in it very happily. We absolutely loved how much wardrobe and storage space there was in the room. As we had booked Deluxe Collection, we were offered an unpacking service, definitely take them up on this if you can. I think it was Mr S’s favourite thing about the holiday!
The hotel had the usual luxury amenities such as Nespresso machine, wifi, Smart TV and bathrobes etc and best of all a mini bar fridge which was all inclusive.
A good sized bathroom was perfect for our family with double sinks and a rain shower and gorgeous Ann Semonin bathroom products as well as special children’s toiletries.
They also provide a nappy bin and a baby bath for Noah!
We also had a gorgeous balcony to relax on and sometimes have breakfast.
We had a gorgeous view from here! Some of the greenery is still yet to fully bloom as the hotel is still so new but that’s not a problem!
From the moment you enter the lobby, Ikos Porto Petro is a calm, rustic and minimalist space. Here you can find reception, the concierge and the Deluxe concierge.
Downstairs from here is the hotel’s lounge – where Mr S watched the football – and the gelaterie. All the ice cream was included in the cost of the stay and of course multiple trips were made here. They also served popcorn and a variety of other desserts. I highly recommend the Oreo flavour! Down here there were also two shops, one clothing boutique and one ‘super market’ selling all the necessities such as suncream, wipes, nappies and baby things.
Outside of here is the hotel’s dedicated leisure area.
We loved coming here around 6pm most nights for the kids shows. There was a parrot show, a mini disco, magic show and other fun things for kids.
The architecture of the public areas are simply stunning – a mixture of natural beauty and harmonious man-made design.
Pools and Beaches
There are five pools at Porto Petro, meaning there’s never a fight for space or a sun lounger. The pools never feel crowded as there is enough space for all.
The deluxe area has it’s own pool which is one of the quieter pools. There is a bigger pool area upstairs.
And a smaller pool area downstairs. We spent the majority of our time by this pool as it was the most easily accessible for Mr S’s parents. Delicious drinks and nibbles were frequently bought around the pool and offered to guests.
It was also served by this rather amazing Taittinger trolley!
The Beach Club pool is probably the biggest pool and offers a choice of loungers or cabanas. There’s also a small, shallow adjacent children’s pool thought it’s worth noting there’s no ‘splash pad’ type pool for small children as there is in some of the Ikos hotels.
The Beach Club also overlooks one of the hotel’s beaches the ocean view is pretty but the beaches are a little token and I think most people would choose the pool over the beach.
Next up is the Sa Torre pool which had a lively atmosphere, often with a DJ and we located right by Fresco restaurant.
There was beach here too which included a beach nanny and the option of half an hour free child care.
Elsewhere in the hotel, there is a very calm and peaceful adult’s pool and a heated indoor pool in the spa. The spa pool is adult’s only.
Restaurants and Bars
The quality of the restaurants at Ikos is one of the factors that influence the return of many guests year after year! Of course we had to try each of the six restaurants as part of our all inclusive package.
All-inclusive hotels are often associated with buffets which can be very bad quality. Not at Ikos! The buffet concept features different International cuisines such as Japanese, Peruvian, Pizza, Pasta, a salad, live cooking stations and an extensive dessert buffet. There is a dedicated kids corner with the usual nuggets and chips but there’s plenty to suit children on the other food stations.
That being said the Market was my least favourite restaurant option – the food was good just not as the other restaurants and the atmosphere was a little lacking as it was inside but there was a lovely view.
Seasons was one of our favourite restaurants and was always very relaxed and quiet as it is reserved for deluxe guests at breakfast and lunch. The restaurant was very close to our room so we came here for breakfast every day.
As the pool we sat by was also by Seasons we had lunch here often too. We also had two of our favourite dinners here! The cuisine is Mediterranean with an Asian twist and the menu is different for lunch and dinner with a few cross over dishes. Some of our favourite starters were gazpacho soup, seabass ceviche, tuna tartar and tomato salad. For main courses favourites were parmesan crusted chicken, baby artichokes and basil lemon sauce or sesame crusted salmon, heirloom tomatoes, and miso yuzu broth with ginger rice. Every restaurant has a slightly differing kid menu with the usual burger, pizza, pasta favourite. There is even a baby / toddler menu and though Noah isn’t quite ready for eating cream of chicken, potato and carrots I’m sure he’ll enjoy it when he is!
Another favourite for us was Oliva, the Spanish restaurant in which we dined multiple time. Open only for breakfast and dinner, Michelin-starred chef David Ibarboure offers a menu of traditional and Spanish food.
Here I recommend some of the tapas to start such as croquetas de jamon Iberico or Shrimp al Pil-Pil, garlic and paprika and for main course you can’t beat the seafood paella with shrimps, mussels and calamari.
Anaya, the hotel’s Asian restaurant is also only open for breakfast and dinner. We only had dinner here once which we regretted! Michelin-starred Chef Thiou designed the Thai menu and incorporates Indian and Chinese dishes too.
Favourite dishes here were gyoza dumplings with chicken and teriyaki sauce, prawn ravioli, pan fried duck and thai curry.
The Beach Club was a gorgeous al fresco dining option for lunch and dinner with the fun atmosphere of being adjacent to the pool with sea views. The food is Mediterranean classics such as aubergine salad, meatballs, grilled prawns and Iberico pork chop.
Fresco, the hotel’s Italian restaurant located at the Sa Torre pool and beach is open all day! We loved visiting Fresco for their daily barbecue but you can also enjoy an a la carte menu at lunch and dinner featuring Italian classics such as burratina with cherry tomatoes and Taggiasca olives, vitello tonnato with caper and tuna sauce, delicious pizzas, pasta dishes such as Pappardelle with duck ragout and truffle and grilled meat and fish such as baked mediterranean Branzino served with peas and fennel salad.
The hotel has several bars too and fine wines and cocktails are all included in the price.
Guests can choose the Pool Bar adjacent to Fresco, The Beach Club bar or the Lobby Bar all of which have a great atmosphere and beautiful views.
There’s the Deluxe Bar, only available to Deluxe Collection guests and serves premium alcohol, you can just ask for Taittenger whenever you want!
Our favourite was Bar Porto Petro which combined beautiful views, an al fresco setting, and a great atmosphere often complimented with live music.
Also as Deluxe guests we enjoyed a Dinner by the Sea, this took place in a stunning setting on the beach near the Fresco restaurant with a menu of top ingredients, think lobster, fillet steak and fine wine!
One thing Ikos also offers is a ‘Dine Out’ option meaning hotel guests can explore local restaurants while still eating on an all-inclusive basis and drinking the hotel’s signature wines. It’s a great idea in theory as it means you’re not confined to staying in the hotel by the thought that you’re already paying to eat there. But in reality leaving the hotel in our big group with four small children was more stress than in was worth. There’s two dine out restaurants at Ikos Porto Petro (Es Bergant and Porto Cari) and while they did offer the more authentic experience of being in Mallorca, I found that food quality and service not as good as in the hotel and it wasn’t worth the hassle of leaving. I never thought I’d say something like that, I was always Miss FOMO!
Ikos Resorts are renowned for being family-friendly and honestly going somewhere like this takes away all the headaches of travelling with young children.
First of all there’s the kids clubs which adhere to Ofsted standards. There’s a creche that runs from four months to four years old with activities run by child care specialists. There is a cost associated with using the creche but as Noah was too young we didn’t use it.
It was our first holiday with Oscar being able to use an older kids club, the “Hero’s Kids Club’ comes at no extra cost and is run in three sessions from aged 4 to aged 12 with organised activities such as art, sports and theatre. What we usually do is spend the early part of the day with Oscar and book the kids club 15.30 – 18.00 session. Oscar would go with his cousin and they’d run in together all excited! This gave him a chance to do planned activities, get out of the sun and it gave us a chance to relax and not chase after him.
There is also Just4Teens club for over 12s which offers a varied programme for older kids.
The hotel also offers babysitting at an extra cost, we used this once for Oscar and it was great as he already knew the kids club staff member.
There is also a complimentary ‘BabeWatch’ service on the beach. In terms of other amenities, nothing is too difficult, we had a baby cot for Noah, nappy bin and baby bath provided, there’s even pram rental provided.
Activities and Entertainment
Ikos is the kind of place where you relax all day and do nothing (as we did) or fill your day with activities. There are tennis courts, watersports, fitness activities, wellness activities such as pilates and yoga – none of which we did! And for kids. a playground (the weather was far too hot for this!) and a giant chess set. The hotel also offers a complimentary car for the day to explore the local area, something we didn’t end up doing but I would be keen to do one day!
If you’re lazy like me and the only activity you want to do is the spa, then you’re in luck…the spa at Porto Petro is stunning and uses products by French beauty brand, Anne Semonin Paris. There’s a spa pool, private rooms and a thermal suite as well as hair and beauty facilities. I enjoyed a 25 minute massage that was included in my deluxe package, as well as getting my hair blowdried one night.
In terms of entertainment, there’s often live music at the bars and kids shows in the leisure area mentioned above. We also loved the daily theatre show, I will caveat that the indoor theatre didn’t feel as experiential as the outdoor theatre at Sani but Oscar loved the shows especially the Heroes Night Out! They were quite loud for little ears so we bought protective headphones for Noah.
The hotel also helped us to arrange a photographer and get some special pictures of our family. A great way to remember Noah’s first holiday!
We obviously loved Ikos, who wouldn’t adore great food, beautiful design and location and wonderful service with the ease of being all-inclusive? The down-side of Ikos, like Sani, is that this a ‘copy and paste’ brand format that lacks the authenticity of some hotels but honestly I think other parents will agree, if the kids are happy, I’m happy!
Great For Kids
Multiple options for beaches, pools and fun.
Kids menus, all you can eat ice cream and more!
Lots of entertainment and an amazing kids club.
Great For Parents
It genuinely is all-inclusive.
Completely hassle-free and everything you need for kids.
Food, service, spa, entertainment… everything is five star levels.