A colossal luxury development bursting with five star resort flair and authentic Mediterranean flavour.
A wondrous realm lies in the sun-drenched and rich historical region of Messinia in the southwest Peloponnese of Greece – Costa Navarino.
Navarino Dunes, the first area, is home to two totally geared up hotels: The Romanos, a Luxury Collection Resort and The Westin Resort, Costa Navarino. Inspired by old Messinian mansions and traditional rural houses, clusters of low-rise villas set within lush landscapes vividly conjure up a suitably appropriate Mediterranean village vibe. The entire plot also faces an unspoiled sandy beach, the shade of light muscavado sugar, overlooking the sparkling Ionian Sea.
I got to stay in one of the more classically luxurious rooms at The Westin. Heavenly bed: check, Wi-Fi access: check and most impressively, an outdoor patio with large infinity pool to take a private dip: check and check.
Couples and honeymooners should stay at The Romanos for its contemporary chic and romantic look and feel. Although, that said, staying at The Westin wouldn’t disappoint. Those ready to seriously splurge, or who want to live it up a la ‘ultra-VIP’, will lap up all that the largest suite, the Royal Villa Methoni, has to offer: personal butler service, a spa treatment suite with steam room, media room, private gym and dedicated outdoor dining area with barbeque.
If you’re a poolside bunny, you’ll be pleased to hear there are a fair few to plunge or paddle around in (there are five in total within the resort, two of which feature swim-up bars).
The Anazoe Spa is also a must. ‘Anazoe’ is derived from the Greek word for rejuvenation and the belief is to heal both body and spirit in accordance with the ancient Greek maxim, ‘a healthy mind in a healthy body’. I blissfully floated around like a feather in the three large thalassotherapy pools, before indulging in a massage treatment that cleverly draws on ancient Greek medicine, inspired by the wisdom of one of the greatest philosophers, Hippocrates. The spa also has multiple steam rooms and mist chambers, herbal saunas and an ice-grotto.
Food here is varied, fresh (the resort has it’s own herb garden) and fantastic. Feta salad is a firm Greek staple but it’s never bland or boring. Top it up with kritamo – a wild, briny Grecian seaside herb, similar to samphire. Instead of halloumi, we tasted talagani – a sheep’s milk cheese from Messinia that’s much softer, creamier and superior. For lunch, the seafront Barbouni Beach Bar is the spot for fresh seafood, grilled meats and light snacks.