Luxury, once in a lifetime experiences, activities, innovations, awesome nature.
Based on a vision without limits by Vassilis Kostantakopoulos, Costa Navarino, one of the most exclusive resorts in Greece, was created few years ago in Messinia, Peloponnese, in one of the most unspoiled and breathtaking seaside landscapes in the Mediterranean.
Costa Navarino is home to two 5 star hotels, The Romanos, a Luxury Collection resort and The Westin resort, as well as Greece’s first signature golf course The Dunes Course.
During my three day stay, apart from the joy and pleasure for the exquisite hospitality, I was proud to see that a special area of my country, with beautiful beaches, a unique ecosystem and rich cultural heritage, has become the centre of international attention and acclaim.
This is because everything in this endeavour shows that behind the resort there is a genuine desire to promote Messinia, while protecting and preserving its natural beauty and heritage.
There is always a dilemma when staying at Costa Navarino. Should one go around and explore the magnificent nature or stay in and just let the day pass drift from breakfast to beach and from lunch to cocktails? Fortunately, as I spent my summer holiday in the area and I know its attractions very well, this was not the case with me.
I therefore devoted most of my time there to get to know the resort as well as possible. It is truly inexhaustible in ideas, activities, natural beauties and luxury.
This is my own top ten list of what is not to be missed while staying at Costa Navarino
The Philosophy Walk
This is one of the most unique experiences I have ever had in a hotel. This innovative activity enables participants to discuss important modern-day issues through the prism of ancient Greek philosophical thinking and writings. Τοgether with Dr. Eleni Volonaki, Professor of Philosophy, we started our walk from a one hundred year old olive tree, through the idyllic Messinian countryside, immersed in a discussion about the well-known saying “a Sound Mind in a Sound Body”.
I found the idea of the philosophy walk truly brilliant; one that offers contact with nature, exhilaration and emotional uplift (who wouldn’t appreciate these during his vacations) through a tour that delves into the heritage of ancient Greece.
2. Lunching at Barbouni
Upon my arrival the first thing I did was to have lunch at Barbouni, the seaside restaurant of Costa Navarino. The view of the vast sandy beach and the installation with the hanging fabric sheets that sway in the wind was the most relaxing welcome. The restaurant sits on a wooden platform and its structure is formed by a grid of natural wooden columns.
Freshly caught fish, salads and delicious snacks, as well as sandwiches are complemented by chilled Greek wines or refreshments and you just want to stay there forever!
3. The Anazoe Spa
The colours, the architecture, the atmosphere, all put you in a relaxing mood. The 4,000m² Anazoe Spa at Navarino Dunes offers a serene sanctuary, with an exceptional menu of specialty treatments based on ancient health and beauty practices.
I personally tried a healing body massage (with a heavenly feeling) as Αnazoe Spa has developed signature treatments based on the teachings of Hippocrates, the ‘father’ of western medicine.
Taking photographs at the lobby of The Romanos
I have so many favourite spots in Costa Navarino, depending on light and the time of the day. However, the lobby of The Romanos is one of the most amazing ones, even for travellers that have been around, and naturally it has become a social media legend.
Having breakfast at Morias restaurant
No need to say how much I was looking forward to seeing the approach to the breakfast experience in such a hotel. It took some time to wander through the breakfast room with the numerous thematic corners with bread, pastries, local cheese, organically grown fruits and vegetables and obviously eggs in any possible way you could ask.
The best thing is that even though you are in the same room with all the guests of The Westin, the arrangement of the sitting guaranties privacy and quietness.
I really enjoyed it, surrounded by the trademark artificial ponds that improve the local micro-climate and are found everywhere in the resort.
Eating meat at The Flame
This is for the moment you dream of expertly cooked steak dishes from finest quality locally sourced meat.
These will come to your table complemented by the freshest ingredients, together with herbs and vegetables from the restaurant’s gardens.
7. Olive oil tasting
One more unique experience that once again aims at promoting the area and its star – product, since we are in a region that produces excellent quality extra virgin olive oil that has been part of people’s daily lives for centuries.
At an atmospheric cellar we learnt by local experts how to descent the subtle flavors of the region’s renowned extra virgin olive oil which is also very useful to know in your life.
9. At Τhe Diner from the american 50s
I travelled through time and found myself at a 50s americana diner. It was as if I was playing at an Elvis movie.
I also tried an awesome lobster burger, while teenagers were enjoying themselves playing bowling. Not to be missed either!
10 . Sunsetting at 1827 Lounge & Bar
No caption needed… The colors of the sky say it all.
Let us just add a small piece of information: 1827 is named after one of the most important events of the Greek War of Independence, the famous naval battle that took place in the adjacent Bay of Navarino.
There are many more to say about Costa Navarino like the awesome art collection, the exhibitions and the events that are often organized there, the two stunning private villas (which I had the chance to visit) as well as the new project of Navarino Residences!