To start this review I can easily say that Costa Navarino is our favourite beach resort in Europe. Experienced travellers are well aware of the very few good beach resort around Europe: well, you now have one that is excellent in the hardware and natural setting. It could be easily become the most child friendly resort in the known universe if they improve some glitches (some serious one) in service.
Westin Costa Navarino is settled in a fantastic natural environment south of Peloponneso. The resort is built on a beach front hill softly degradating towards the sea with the Messinian hills full of secular olive threes as a background. The setting is fabolous and it is really out of the beaten track. I got there driving on a saturday of August from Patras and virtually met no cars on my way there.
I will not spend too much time describing the hotel as it will take just too long. Trust me it is of excellent quality and no money have been saved in this respect. Grounds are very good and very well mantained. Decoration are first quality and I noted lot of top brands in the furniture both of indoor and outdoor. They have done a great job even in macro and micro architecture.
The resort has almost the dimension of a small village and you really enjoy your time with a variety of in-house option/activities if you so wish. You got everything! Aquapark, pools, gym, indoor pools, game rooms, golf, scuba, kitesurf, agora and shops....I really reccomend to have a deep look to the hotel website as it will take forever to describe it here. As well they have a large selection of restaurants (approx ten I believe) that are more then acceptable and usually good in service (a part one or two slow dinner); the only (real) bad experience we had in terms of food was the arabian restaurant. We thought it was so lower compared to all other restaurants that we really feel to reccomend to the management to have a look at it not because our experience there was unfortunate but because the general standard there seems to be really low.
Coctails to the Japanese place are to die for...among the best I have ever experienced and it is a pity they cannot replicate those starndard all over the resort. Those coctails were made so well that it was enough to bring me there every evening at sunset to have one or two while watching the sun disappearing in the blu horizont. The food as well is ok at the Japanese restaurant.
We have been at the resort for the three most busy week of the year (middle of august) and never had a problem to find a free table in any restaurant. They usually do their best to accomodate you.
Same goes for beach bed and umbrella....this resort has a great proportion of facilities and guests so even if it was maxed out during our stay we never felt it was too busy anywhere (beach, pools, restaurants)....maybe at breakfast you had to watch around a minute or two for a table...but that was it.
We want to reccomend two or three field of improvement:
beach/pool service: almost not exsisting. Nobody ever show up to take order and forget about someone to place your towels...They might get there but at the moment this is just not exsisting. Some waiters goes around only at the american dinner place close to the acquapark. The bizzare fact is that they have excellent facilities even for this...every umbrella everywhere is equiped with a "service on call" button...but nobody ever will answer your call...
Terapist at the spa: they have a great spa again in terms of facilities but the quality they provide is absolutely to improve in all aspects. Spa Pools were, at the best, tiepid when they were supposed to be warmed up a bit more...and the two massages my and my wife got were bad. I really reccomend the management to improve this as it is, at least for us, an important aspect of our vacation....me and my wife we usually get a massage each every other day. We got only one each for the whole 21 days and that means the resort has lost only with us 2000/3000 euro of revenue given the poor quality provided in treatments.
BabyClub: They have two based on age. While we cannot comment on the commitment of the staff, we found the whole organization a bit soulless...it is like the team just run basic programs the whole day...they are children, sometimes you should forget about "rules" and search for alchimy with children...it is all they need to be happy. That said the two facilities cocoon and sandcastle are nice but unfortunately they had no "italian" speaking staff in sandcastle (but there was one at cocoon) which we found bizarre given the large number of Italian guest there were.
They should have at least one adult only pool and one adult only restaurant...there are so many that we (family with children) will not miss one option and it will make happy (I suppose) many guest.
The Icecream place should learn how to put more then one flavour scoop on a cup/cone. Really a pity because the quality of the icecream shop was indeed good.
Finally, the housekkeping should improve in terms of guest response...I will not go far to say that they didn't care, but they can definitively do better especially in providing regular daily cleaning, turndown service, minibar replenishment.
The room in front of my balcony had the whole surface of part of the balcony full (and increasing daily) of birds fecis and this was not clean for the whole time of my stay (three weeks).
I would like to close this review to note that I have been focusing on negative aspect to improve only because I really like this place, I will probably be back (especially if they improve quality treatments at spa) and I am reccomending it to many friends that's why it is important they understand they have a great resorts and with more effort they can really make a difference.
I found the resort rates very competitive given the quality provided.
A last mention to the fantastic sea and beach....never seen anywhere in Europe in August(maybe just some part of Sardinia) such a beatiful beach almost two km long and 300 mt deep with no one on it a part the resort guest...and the Ionian sea was so clean and clear!
Reccomended Room: Infinity Grand Suite sea front
Reccomended Restaurant: Japanese / Flame
Reccomended Coctail bar: Japanese
Reccomended in-house activity: Kite Surf if you are for thrilling...centre it is placed some hundred meters sideaway on the resort beach where Mrs and Misses body fantastic create a nice environment for water sport (surf and kitesurf)
Reccomended Pool: for adult The Romanos pool, for family Aquapark or Westin Pool