With 5 resorts in Greece, Ikos has refined its unique interpretation of all-inclusive into a genuinely upscale experience. In fact, you probably won’t find a reference to all-inclusive in any of Ikos’ communications. Instead they use the term ‘Unconditional Luxury’. The experience goes far beyond the established notion of all-inclusive, writes Andrew Forbes (The Luxury Editor).
Ikos Porto Petro
Our experience began when we arrives at the airport and were whisked away in air-conditioned comfort in a blacked-out Mercedes minivan to the tranquil enclave of Porto Petro.
On arrival, as the minivan door opened, and we stepped out into the brilliant Mediterranean light one is greeted by a perfectly framed view of the sea. Repeated, rectangular timber architectural arches draw the eye across the arrival forecourt to the Mediterranean – a bold photo opportunity that sets the scene for this striking Ikos Porto Petro resort.
Beyond the spacious, almost barn-like lobby, decorated with an abundance of wood, is the pool bar with earthy coloured seating set beneath a pergola, that plays with sunshine, creating bold shadows. This is where you will be welcomed by a smiling host wielding a tablet for a quick, digital check-in as you sip your first of many glasses of chilled, crisp Taittinger champagne, enjoying the soulful tunes of the live saxophonist.
The resort is deceptively large, but it’s low-rise construction, around the coves creates an intimate feel. There are five pools to enjoy, a beach club, a gym and a spa as well as 6 restaurants.
Ikos knows how to build compelling guest accommodation. Design, layout, materials, furnishings, and finish combine to create a super stylish sanctuary. Here in Porto Petro, the tones are of the Mallorca terrain – earthy, natural, and grounding, contrasting with the blues, aquamarines, and greens of the outside view.
Choose a suite and your experience of Unconditional Luxury is further enhanced, offering more space and sea views. There are also suites with private pools. Choose from the Deluxe accommodation and guests services include a dedicated pool, bar, and dining. Options include family rooms and family rooms with private gardens. For the ultimate in space, choose one of the resort’s outstanding bungalows.
Our one bedroom suite looked out to the sparkling cove, with views over the canopy of pine trees to the inviting water. A bottle of French champagne sat on ice, by a bowl of plump strawberries that somehow tasted better than ever, here in the Mallorca sunshine.
The room is calming and sophisticated with lots of wood and natural textures. The in-room bar is fully stocked, and yes, it’s included in Unconditional Luxury. The suite is like your dream beachside apartment. The bedroom and living room both open onto a large terrace furnished with a large day bed and dining table.
The bathroom features a large bathtub, shower, and twin vanity. You will also find plush towels, robes, and innovative plastic-free slippers (made by a foundation collaborating with people with disabilities who craft slippers from former hotel towels with coconut husk soles).
Amenities across all Ikos resorts are the deliciously fragrant products of Anne Semonin Paris, and the ‘Mémoires d’Eté’ range is said to be inspired by the fresh, salty air of the sea and aromatic citrus groves by sunny shores – in short, the kind Mediterranean bliss you feel when you arrive at Ikos.
Unconditional Luxury definitely invites you to indulge.
The sophisticated bars and restaurants of Ikos create a sense of occasion with beautifully prepared drinks and cocktails, and dining that evokes the style and flair of upscale restaurants.
Porto Petro Bar – this is the place for sundowners. Perfectly orientated to enjoy the setting sun over the marina, this elegant bar with interiors of local stone.
The large terrace leads to the gardens where clusters of seating provide an intimate setting for signature cocktails, some designed by world-famous mixologist Marian Beke. During our visit we were lucky enough to have our drinks prepared by him as Marian was on site, training the bartender team.
Food Hall – When it comes to dining Ikos Porto Pedro has pioneered a new all-day dining concept – Food Hall. This is a contemporary reimagining of the hotel buffet.
But there the comparison ends. Forgot any preconceptions. Here dishes are individually plated – like an abundance of fine-dining tapas. There are multiple kitchens, including an Argentinian-style grill, flavours of Asia and India and delicious pizzas, pastas, and gnocchi from Italy.
There’s attentive table service for a la carte dishes as well as drinks including wines from the cellar. Sometimes you have to wait to have the wine of your choice, but it is worth it. There are some excellent wines available at the resort.
Seasons – this is the resort’s Mediterranean fusion restaurant, with Spanish favourites like gazpacho, Mediterranean classics like Burrata, but with an Asian twist with ships and lime, as well dishes evocative of South America like the guacamole with jalapeño peppers.
Oliva restaurant – this venue pays tribute to the fabulous kitchen of Spain, with a menu created by a Chef awarded a Michelin star for his restaurant servicing Basque cuisine. On an upper level, the terrace d offers views across the landscape gardens and pine trees to the marina, giving a cosmopolitan vibe.
Gourmet versions of popular tapas include prawn al pil pil and patatas bravas, with main dishes including bold rice dishes like paella and arroz caldosa.
Anaya – this is a real treat, an Asian-inspired restaurant with a menu designed by Chef Thiou who has a Michelin star for her eponymous Thai restaurant in Paris.
As with all the Ikos restaurants, the decor at Anaya is thoughtfully created to evoke a memorable experience, in beautiful surroundings. The al fresco terrace looks out to the pine trees and the Mediterranean beyond. The menu promises authentic Thai, Indian and Chinese dishes. Start off with crab with yuzu mayo, or gyoza dumplings with teriyaki sauce or the tempting prawn ravioli with coconut cream with a hint of lemongrass. K
The Thai curries are superb and there’s more choice with Pad Thai noodles and other wok dishes like fried duck with wok vegetables.
The wines list is good too – at first, they didn’t have the full list but they were happy to check with the central cellar and find a favourite white wine.
Local dining – A stay at Ikos also means guests can enjoy a flavour of the destination too. Dine Out is their programme that allows you to book from a curated list of located restaurants within your Unconditional Luxury room rate.
Exploring Mallorca also extends to offering a Tesla car for the day, although during our visit they could not offer full insurance, only third-party insurance leaving the guest with full responsibility for the value of the car, at around 45, 0000 euro. Private insurance is not available from the car company or the hotel. You have to make your own arrangements with a private broker. In my experience sadly I could not find anyone to cover a 45,000-euro Tesla for the day. So please be careful with this. Mallorca roads are narrow, windy, and popular with cyclists making driving challenging at times.
But having a car is rewarding. Usually, when I visit Mallorca I always have a car. The freedom means you get to see some wonderful sights like the majestic Tramuntana mountain range, charming villages like Valldemossa and Fornalutx, as well as unspoilt coves and bays. The capital Palma is a delight too – great for shopping and a dose of culture.
Yet being here in Ikos Porto Petro, in this beautiful setting, you probably will not be tempted to leave. The beach club with its choice of pools, sun loungers and adjacent sandy cove make for the perfect place to idle away the days in the sun sipping cocktails.
That’s enjoying Mallorca, the Ikos Way.
This property is included in our guide to the best hotels in Mallorca