The Westin Resort Costa Navarino, Greece
Costa Navarino in Greece, consisting of The Westin Resort and The Romanos, a Luxury Collection Resort, has something for everyone whether you want to have an active holiday or just relax and recharge in a beautiful location. The luxury resorts were the dream of Vassilis Constantakopoulos, who was a local and a billionaire shipping magnate. He said his life’s work was to revitalise one of Greece’s most depressed regions with international luxury ecotourism. The two interconnecting resorts were built in 2010.
The ethos behind Costa Navarino was to create a sustainable development on the unspoilt coast in Messinia, in the Peloponnese peninsula. This is apparent in the fact that more than 6,000 existing olive trees were replanted after the building had taken place, the golf courses are built over a geothermal installation and the plants throughout the resort are those native to the region; olive trees, rosemary and lavender to name a few.
We arrived late in the evening at the Westin Resort so didn’t have time to get orientated before having supper under the stars in the Agora (the main square). Supper was risotto, pasta, steak and a green salad – just what we needed after a day of travelling.
My room was very close to the Agora; tastefully decorated with a comfortable bed, tea and coffee making facilities, bottled water it also had a private area for sitting by the patio. The bathroom was stylish with a walk-in shower as well as a bath and a full set of complimentary toiletries.
It was only in the morning that I discovered that I also had my own personal infinity pool with a stunning backdrop of the gardens behind it. It looked very inviting and something I would certainly make more use on a future visit.
Breakfast was in the spacious Morias restaurant, you can either sit outdoors or indoors. It’s probably the best choice of breakfast I’ve ever had at a hotel. Small tasty pastries, dried fruit, Greek yoghurt, fresh fruit, cheese, meats and of course a selection of hot food. Despite the size of the resort, the Westin has 445 rooms and suites, it didn’t feel at all crowded and the staff were very attentive.
After breakfast, we had a tour of the hotel, which was very useful as it is spread out in all directions. There is an App you can download for Costa Navarino, with comprehensive details of the restaurants, facilities, events, a map and a most useful “find my room” option. We visited the lobby of the Romanos resort which was exquisite, an airy entrance, beautiful marble pillars and a stunning view towards the sea. The Romanos had just closed for the winter months but would certainly be an ideal place to visit if you are looking for total luxury.
Our tour then took us to the aqua park. Perfect for families, it has three water slides as well as a play area and a creche building with chairs, tables and little beds for children to crash out on. The resort has a proper gym, a spa which I would have loved to experience, as well as an indoor pool and a climbing wall. We also visited the shop where you can hire bikes to explore the surrounding countryside. There are two impressive 18-hole golf courses adjoining the resort, obviously very popular as there were lots of golfers staying at the resort.
We then visited Navarino Natura Hall, an interactive environmental exhibition centre in Costa Navarino. It gives a unique insight into the rich and diverse environment of Messinia, with interactive features allowing visitors to “experience” Messinian flora and fauna. I was particularly impressed with the exhibition on display especially the indigenous wildlife including turtles, seals and chameleons.
After our tour we went by minibus to Voidokilia beach, about 15 minutes away, this is easily accessible by hiring one of the bicycles from the shop at the resort. This beautiful beach forms a semi-circle and is ideal for swimming. It is said to be one of the best beaches in Greece and believed to be mentioned in Homer’s Odyssey. The Gialova Lagoon, a destination for migrating birds on their way to Africa is close by. We were told that you can sometimes see flamingos there, unfortunately, our schedule didn’t allow enough time to visit this time!
On returning to the hotel we were taken by buggy to the Barbouni restaurant for lunch. As the resort is so large you can get an electric buggy to take you along the winding pathways to your destination. The Barbouni is located on the beach with stunning views of the beach and the surrounding areas. There was a warm breeze blowing as we tucked into a typical Greek lunch of taramasalata, tzatziki, Greek salad and calamari, followed by a delicious dessert of lemon mille-feuille and Ouzo ice cream with berries. This was washed down with 1827, a white wine produced from the local vineyards.
After lunch we made our way back to our rooms, I was very pleased I didn’t get lost, passing two of the many outdoor pools at the resort.
We were invited as guests for the Costa Navarino cultural weekend, 20 – 22 October 2017, for more information on activities during this weekend there will be a separate post. Costa Navarino is approximately three hours, by car, from the airport at Athens.
Costa Navarino: Rates at the two hotels at Navarino Dunes, start from:-
The Westin Resort Costa Navarino: from €190 off-peak season, and from €345 in peak season, and The Romanos, a Luxury Collection Resort: from €335 off-peak season, and from €430 in peak season.
For further information and reservations visit www.costanavarino.com. Prices are for a deluxe garden view room on a bed and breakfast basis, based on availability
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