Nights Stayed: 11
Room Type: Pool Suite
Booking Type: Marriott Rewards Redemption (315,000 Points). Upgrade as Titanium Elite
Overall Rating 6.5/10
Large, family-friendly resort. Very friendly and accommodating staff. The resort itself is not close to major towns/villages so you will spend most of your time on the resort, unless you have a car. The hotel is let down by overcrowding (too many guest rooms for the restaurants/pools), poor buffet and an over-zealous approach to maximising guest revenue.
The Resort & Facilities
The Westin Costa Navarino billets itself as the leading family resort in Europe. In this in-depth review, I share our own thoughts as a family of three spending 12 days at the resort.
It is certainly expansive. The Costa Navarino resort currently boasts two hotels (The Westin, and a Marriot Luxury Collection hotel). Apparently, two more are being built under the Costa Navarino banner but the management company is yet to be decided.
The two hotels today adjoin each other and share most restaurants, and most pools. Between the two hotels there are 5 different pools. The Westin has the ‘recreation park’ for kids which is a large shallow pool, slides and a water play area. It also has the Lagoon, a heated large pool and a smaller pool covered by a canopy. And it has the Westin pool, an unheated pool more popular with Adults. The Luxury Collection has its own pool, open only to guests at the Luxury Collection (Luxury Collection guests can use the Westin pools).
There is a Golf Club with two 18 hole courses. Two more are being built, alongside the two additional hotels. The existing Golf Courses are supposedly some of the best in Greece (I am very much a golf beginner so am unable to say much more on this!)
The hotel also has its own, large, beach. The beach is coarse sand / small stone but fine for sunbathing and playing on. There is a bar and restaurant adjacent to the beach, and the hotel also offers its own watersports activities (chargeable extras).
Restaurants & Food
The hotel boasts 11 full restaurants, plus a number of bars, lounges and poolside food/drinks available.
A wide range of cuisine is available including, as you might expect, Greek, seafood, Italian, an American Diner, Lebanese and a steak house. A number of these restaurants were good; our favourites were the Lebanese restaurant and the Greek Souvlakerie restaurant.
The majority of these are open in the evening with a couple (Souvlakerie, The Diner, pool side bars plus the steak house) being open for lunch.
Breakfast is served at the buffet restaurant in the Westin hotel and was the most disappointing experience of them all. Firstly, its overcrowded. During our stay, guests at both the Luxury Collection and the Westin ate at the same restaurant. Getting a table was tricky, actually getting to the buffet bar was much harder. We heard that in peak July/August its even worse.
The breakfast itself was poor. It is included free for everyone, regardless of package or Marriott status. The food on offer barely changed over 12 days, which was disappointing (chicken sausages one day, pork the next and that’s about it).
Worst of all, the restaurant is plagued with birds. I saw on multiple days birds happily helping themselves to croissants, toast and more. All from the same bread baskets that people eat from (we’d always try and get food from the bottom of the basket that hadn’t been pecked). Flies were also in abundance with no protective covers or fly-killing lights to try reduce their impact. Some of the hot food was only mildly warm, which meant by the time you’d fought your way back to your table, often it was cold.
Food overall is expensive and in some cases overpriced. You read this in the official reviews and management respond this is 5* pricing; I compare this to the Domes of Elounda which is also 5* and a higher Marriott category which was much better value.
You are pretty much forced to eat at the hotel given lack of a local town or village to wander into. If you do the evening buffet, it is 35 EUR per person for food plus drink. Kids under 4 eat for free at the buffet. Unless you are half or full-board, budget 150-200 EUR per day for all food and drink.
Rooms & Accommodation
We booked a standard room but were upgraded to a Pool Suite as a result of my Marriott Titanium Elite status.
The upgrade was well received but about the only recognition I got as an elite member. The room was a decent size; a private pool and little patio/garden next to the room gave us plenty of space to enjoy a glass of wine and read in the evenings.
The room had 2 showers, a cool free-standing bath. The bed was a little hard and the pillows a little soft but this is personal preference. There was no pillow menu or options to change.
Turn down service was offered each night.
Costa Navarino for Kids
The Costa Navarino is a family friendly resort. The vast majority of people we saw staying where families with kids of a variety of ages. There is a lot for kids to do and particularly impressive is the wet area including a large, shallow pool suitable for toddlers / young kinds. There are water slides to amuse the older kids (and young ones can ride with parents).
The kids club sits next to this pool. On the right side, we saw a big outdoor play area but this was not open during our stay.
The kids club was average. 6 months to 4 years old are grouped together, then 4 years plus. Sadly this meant that our three year old was mostly kept indoors with younger babies and did not get to make use of the good outdoor facilities. This seems like an oversight and at other hotels, the age groups have been better organised.
The kids club for the younger age bracket costs 68 EUR per day. This excludes lunch; if you want your child fed they give you the room service menu which adds a further 10-15 Euros per day. To us, this seemed excessive and goes to my point of being over zealous in maximising guest revenues.
The wifi was reasonably fast but did cut out from time to time. Overall, not bad for a rural location. I didn’t use it for much more than regular browsing.
The room build quality was typical southern European and somewhat average. The wall sockets were not well secured in, and came away from the wall when plugs were removed.
The maids were excellent. However, the refilling of room amenities (shampoo, shower gel, etc) was inconsistent, as was the amount of water they’d leave in the room. It was never a problem getting any more when we asked, though.
Overall, The Costa Navarino is a good option for families with kids. A few little tweaks, especially to breakfast, food and drink could make it very good – almost excellent. I understand that British Airways regularly features it in good value holiday deals in the BA sale (quite a few people we met had taken advantage of this) and it may be worth going half / full-board if offered at a good price.
For us? We may come back but there are a lot of other places we’d explore first.