There are a few destination in the world competing for the top luxury destination status, Costa Navarino Greece is one of them. A destination of its own, the Costa Navarino in the region of Messinia in southwest Peloponnese has gained world-class recognition as one of the most exclusive luxury resorts in the Mediterranean, and rightly so. An epitome of sophisticated hospitality, the core values at this luxury resort trace back to antiquity, and to the place of Palace of Nestor and his unique “xenia” — the generous hospitality towards strangers which Homer so vividly describes in the Odyssey. And so the legacy continues here to this day, where guests coming to Costa Navarino arrive as strangers but leave as friends and their return always feels like a sweet homecoming.
The Story of Costa Navarino Greece
Once upon a time there was a man who loved his homeland so much that he envisioned that one day he would turn this region into a world-class tourism destination — and so he did. In the mid-1980s the late Captain Vassilis Constantakopoulos slowly started to acquire land around Messinia — with the dream that the locals would have the opportunity to remain in their homeland. Captain Vassilis had a great passion for the environment and as such the whole resort is a sustainable destination that wonderfully protects the environment and its inhabitants. He was a man of great vision and a loving heart — and this is felt in everything that happens here at Costa Navarino. Nothing is truly left to chance.
The Navarino Dunes resort complex spans across 130 hectares of land and is home to two 5-star luxury hotels: The Romanos, a Luxury Collection Resort and The Westin Resort, Costa Navarino. Among the world-class facilities are the 4,000 m2 Spa & Thalassotherapy Center – Anazoe Spa, the Dunes Course as well as over 20 restaurants and bars.
The Navarino Dunes is a family friendly destination catering to the guests holidaying with children of all ages as there are numerous sports and recreational activities on offer.
My Stay at The Westin Resort, Costa Navarino
Having been voted among the Best Resorts in Europe in Condé Nast Traveler Reader’s Choice Awards in 2017, the Westin Resort deserves the highest accolades.
The hotel’s 445 chic, earth-toned guest rooms and suites offer stunning views of the resort’s perfectly manicured gardens, pool and seafront.
We stayed at an Infinity Room with 39 m2 (420ft2) of indoor space with a private infinity pool (23m2) overlooking the lush gardens. The bed option offers a King size bed or two single beds. You are guaranteed one of the best sleeps of your life on the iconic Westin Heavenly® Bed. There is also a separate sitting corner with two sofas.
The spacious bathroom features a bathtub that opens up to the views of the bedroom and a separate rainfall shower cabin. The toiletries are Westin White Tea Aloe Bath & Body products, which are my favorite hotel toiletries by far.
There is also a separate walk-in closet and coffee/tea making facilities.
The Health and Safety Measures at Costa Navarino
The Costa Navarino has fully integrated the heath and safety measures required by the World Health Organisation and the Greek authorities in their day to day operations. I was sent all the procedures that the resort undertook prior to my check-in. Costa Navarino is also obliged to follow the “Commitment to Cleanliness” innovative system developed by Marriott International.
The room complied with all the recent health and safety protocols and there was a hygiene set with hand-sanitiser and mask in the room. The mini-bars are not stocked based on the new regulations.
All the restaurants and bars at the resort have outdoor seating which means that guests can feel more safe. The breakfast area was mapped out according to guest coming in, one way and going out the other way.
The staff would serve everything that you liked on your plate without coming in close contact with the buffet.
Facilities and Activities
The zen inspired gardens are dotted with olive trees and inviting hammocks which surround the resort’s main pool. Here, guests can enjoy a plethora of relaxing activities and a vast selection of beauty treatments at the renowned Anazoe Spa.
For those who are looking for a more action packed holiday can opt for a game of tennis or golf (2 world-class signature golf-courses). In your downtime visit the resort’s cutting edge indoor Sports & Entertainment Centre where you can dive into fun activities like basketball, bowling, wall climbing, soccer, just to name a few.
The area surrounding the Costa Navarino Resort is ideal for exploration, making it a perfect activity to explore the region on two wheels with a professional guide. If you feel like doing absolutely nothing, the resort’s private beach is as inviting as everything else — spend the day soaking in the suns rays and enjoy a refreshing swim in the blue waters of the Navarino Bay.
Messenia’s underwater world is also fabulous, whether you know how to scuba dive or looking to acquire a new set of skill — there is a PADI certified school available on the resort’s premises. Explore the beauty of the underwater world either on a snorkelling or a scuba diving expedition.
The Agora Square
The Agora square at the Navarino Dunes resort is a dedicated area that is lined with restaurants, boutiques, a chapel and a theatre. This is the resort’s main meeting point during the evening hours as the sun begins to set, guests gather here to enjoy a leisurely evening.
This charming “village-style” square was also used to film scenes from Before Midnight (2013) starring Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy.
Dining and Wining at Navarino Dunes
Gourmands will be spoiled for choice with a grand selection of 20 restaurants, bars, lounges and pool bars on property. The exclusive restaurants with award-winning chefs led by Executive Chef Thanasis Karathanasis, who is the heart and soul of the dining experience at the resort, boast a fantastic array of international cuisines and flavors. The delectable dishes are prepared with fresh, organically grown ingredients sourced from the resort’s gardens.
Whether you are looking to indulge on fresh seafood delicacies, simple Greek flavors or exquisite Middle Eastern delights — your taste buds are in for a real treat. From American-style diner to the seafront Barbouni with the most creative and Instagram worthy flowing roof, your holiday dining experience will most definitely be one-of-a-kind.
During our stay we had a fantastic dinner at the Flame Restaurant overlooking the Golf Dunes, renowned for its fine selection of locally sourced meats and fresh vegetables. Chef Kyriakos Plevritis and his team prepared a wonderful selection of starters which included beef tartare, infused with fresh herbs, a delightful Greek salad and a bountiful green salad with sweet peach and caramelised walnuts.
For main course we were served with a platter of lamb chops, roasted chicken and perfectly grilled medium-rare stake, accompanied by a selection of sauces, fresh fries and sweet potatoes, as well as grilled vegetables.
If you are a fan of risotto don’t miss the Greek version of delicate goat served with trahanas (Greek version of pasta made from cracked wheat) mixed with a hint of carrots and a touch of yogurt.
The dreamy setting of Costa Navarino Greece will make you want to stay here forever. It’s no wonder why so many celebs choose to holiday here, the resort is designed for absolute seclusion and relaxation. Whether you are looking to stay a few nights or weeks, there is one guarantee — you will never get bored.
Things to see around Costa Navarino
The area surrounding Costa Navarino is blessed with remarkable natural, historical and cultural beauty making it a perfect destination to visit all year round. Messenia is home to Gialova lagoon, one of the most important wetlands in Europe, with hundreds of migratory birds stopping here in spring and in autumn with the pristine Voidokilia Beach — shaped like a semi-circle protected by Natura 2000. Mentions of this bay were referred to in Homer’s Odyssey — as a place where King Nestor used it as a port in ancient times. Speaking of palaces, the remains of Nestor’s grand Palace are only a short drive from Costa Navarino Resort — where you can delve deeper into the fascinating history of this blessed land and admire the soaring views of the Messinian Gulf.
Messinia’s labyrinth like roads that pass through endless olive tree groves are great for driving exploration. The natural landscape is blessed with several famous waterfalls — such as the Polilimnio (the emerald lakes). The region is also home to several notable fortified castles (Pylos, Methoni and Koroni) — which will make your days here rather exciting. Peloponnese is a very exciting destination, come and experience it for yourselves.
How to get to Costa Navarino
Costa Navarino is easily connected to the Kalamata International Airport with direct flights from most European cities. Alternatively you can arrive to Athens International Airport (270 km) or the port of Partas (200km) which is easily connected with ferry routes to Italy.
*Passion for Hospitality was a guest at the Costa Navarino, all opinions expressed are always my own.