The best experience we’ve had traveling with our twin boys their first year was by far our visit to Costa Navarino. Which apart from being the ultimate destination for families with babies, it is also the ultimate resort in Greece.
But what is that makes Costa Navarino so special in my opinion?
The Nature of Messenia
It looks a lot like Tuscany, actually. Only apart from the green hills, the vineyards and the olive trees, it also features a golden coastline. As well as the unique semi-round beach of Voidokoilia. And the stunning Yalova lagoon. And the breathtaking Polylimnio. Costa Navarino sits in one equally rich corner of Messenia.
Costa Navarino actually reminded more of a Balinese villa hotel that you can hardly see from the beach, than a huge hotel.
In Harmony with its Natural Surroundings
This is probably because it respects the natural beauty of the area. Only 8% of the estate is built. The rest is covered by the two gold courses, olive trees forests and lots (lots) of green spaces. There is not a single tall building here, so even though the resort is huge, the area is actually… green. Many rooftops are made into green spaces too and there are countless gardens. So many that the spa and kitchens use herbs and spices that grow here.
It feels so close to nature here that when we got back to our suburban apartment in Athens, we noticed our twins were a bit sad.
We adored that place. It was picture-perfect!
Costa Navarino Respects the Flora & Fauna of the Area
I’ve written before that I prefer beaches that when you’re in the water, you can’t see a single building or car. The same goes here too. Costa Navarino is a huge resort, but you won’t catch a glimpse of it from its beach. The sand dunes help (and they make you think you’re at the Hamptons, too). But mostly the turtles that lay their eggs here and hence the beach is off limits at night.
Moreover, the construction totally respected the greenery also. They relocated 6000 trees and you can read more about this in my interview with the Costa Navarino architects, back in 2011 (find pdf link at the bottom of the article).
The Golf Courses
Navarino Dunes rule the area. Their surrounding nature is almost overwhelming. Their architecture unique. I don’t gold and yet the buggy ride around the Dunes was thrilling.
But mostly, the Golf Courses are what make Costa Navarino the best hotel in the Balkans. Thanks to them, Messenia is now a luxury destination, they reserved a spot for Greece in the golf tourism world map and it bring together apart from golf pro-athletes, children of the are who deserve the Costa Navarino gold scholarship!
Hiking the old trails of Messenia (among them, the magical Polylimnio and the stunning Neda waterfalls), climbing, bicycle rides for all ages, from Costa Navarino to Voidokilia and Yalova lagoon – which has been a bucket list experience for me and our babies really liked). There is a weekly activity schedule and they all have an age limit of 2+, 6+ or 8+, for you to enjoy as a family.
It is very Family Friendly
Baby pool, kids menu, day care… The amenities for families with kids here are so many. We tried them all and I wrote about them here!
Enjoy amazing meat all the way from Argentina in Flames restaurant overlooking the Dunes; Italian food with the best products straight from Italy in Da Luigi at Agora; Delicious king crab salad with avocado and gazpacho in beachfront Barbuni restaurant, all kind of lobster and the most american cheesecake in the Diner; And an overwhelming breakfast bar at the Morias restaurant. I actually overheard a British resident saying to her friend: “is there anything they don’t have?”
Fish for breakfast for the scandinavian guests, everything you need for the english breakfast of your dreams, local delicacies, fresh smoothies, all kinds of oat meals, a great variety of bread and pastry, and the most impressive freddo cappuccino. Even with soya milk (for me, since I am lactose intolerant).
There are also plenty of baby seats everywhere, as well as baby meals and a kids menu that can be brought to you wherever you are, upon request.
And the room service? Here, Good Food matters. You can find menu options for a good night sleep. Or dishes rich in antioxidants and low in calories. And I loved that.
I’ve written before about beauty treatments from around the world – all based on local ingredients and traditions. The Hippocrates therapy in Anazoe Spa is such and I couldn’t resist it. Combined with herb scents, relaxing ancient greek music, virgin olive oil of the area and an amazing hot beverage that I enjoyed in the relaxation room right after. I couldn’t resist to the pool area either, where the salt water does wonders. Or the steam room, the sauna and the ice room… I loved how “greek” everything was too, since you can treat yourself to olives, herb infusions and dried figs everywhere.
There are also golf athletes massages, cellulite treatments, kids spa and a baby massage that we, of course, went for. There is a specially trained therapist that you have to book well in advance and will show you the secrets of baby relaxation – apart from massaging your bundle of joy. We booked 2 appointments back to back, but the twins fall asleep in the waiting area. This is how perfectly constructed this place is! So, we spent some time with the therapist learning how to relax our babies. I tried half of it home and it works. I can put my babies to nap twice a day! The secret? A darkened room, perfect temperature, relaxation music and lavender scents.
Experiences & Events
When in Costa Navarino, you can hang in the Pool, the Lagoon or the beach all day long. You can chill at your own private infinity pool and enjoy room service at its best.
But you can also take advantage of the events organized to get to know the area and its traditions better. You can enjoy a traditional village cooking experience, wine tasting, a botanical garden tour, a farm to table cooking day and more, according to the time of year.
Or experience unique things like philosophical walks, a luxury picnic, a messenian nature tour, test drives, the speed experience park, kid tennis or even diving.
We preferred to enjoy all the baby amenities. But when we come back when our twin boys are older, we will be unstoppable.
The Excellent Service
Service can be described as excellent when your needs are fulfilled before they are even “needs”.
We stayed at one of the Westin family suites with our twins, which was already equipped with two cots and two baby seats.
We got a call from the reception 24 hours before our check-out, to arrange our luggage transfer as well as our buggy transfer.
When I hurt myself at the water park (yes…), I was given a medical treatment on the spot.
You will find a leaflet in your room with some advice that will make your stay more comfortable, as how stuff works. But do not hesitate to contact the reception with questions or your needs, because your stay has the potential of being seriously problem-free and dreamy.
Coming from a mother who travels with twin babies, it’s true.
The Amazing Amenities
The pools are stunning, so is the Spa. Agora has everything and the inside spaces are awe-inspiring for their architectural beauty and the attention to detail.
But what we really loved is the promenade opportunities (we’ve been strolling our twins every day for the past year). The pathways and the golf courses are ideal for walks or buggy rides. It is quiet, there are things to explore in every corner (we ran into museum exhibitions and a recording studio), and do not miss out on the chance to just sit some place and enjoy a lovely meal or the great views – for an unforgettable experience.
And it seems that I am not the only one in love with Costa Navarino.
Actually, some like it so much that will soon be able to have their own private villa here, to keep the dream alive forever!
But if you’re up for a short stay, book your dream room/suite/villa here!