Review of the Westin Costa Navarino

Nights Stayed: 11
Room Type: Pool Suite
Booking Type: Marriott Rewards Redemption (315,000 Points). Upgrade as Titanium Elite

Westin Lobby

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).

Sunset at Morias (Westin Buffet Restaurant)

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.

The buffet when it was ‘quiet’

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.

The Town Square where many of the restaurants are

Rooms & Accommodation

We booked a standard room but were upgraded to a Pool Suite as a result of my Marriott Titanium Elite status.

Living Room area of the Suite (Complete with Sofa Bed)
Private pool
Private garden adjacent to pool

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).

Water slides and kids pool/play area

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.

Other thoughts

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.

Welcome to the Gutenberg Editor

Of Mountains & Printing Presses

The goal of this new editor is to make adding rich content to WordPress simple and enjoyable. This whole post is composed of pieces of content—somewhat similar to LEGO bricks—that you can move around and interact with. Move your cursor around and you’ll notice the different blocks light up with outlines and arrows. Press the arrows to reposition blocks quickly, without fearing about losing things in the process of copying and pasting.

What you are reading now is a text block the most basic block of all. The text block has its own controls to be moved freely around the post…

… like this one, which is right aligned.

Headings are separate blocks as well, which helps with the outline and organization of your content.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Handling images and media with the utmost care is a primary focus of the new editor. Hopefully, you’ll find aspects of adding captions or going full-width with your pictures much easier and robust than before.

Beautiful landscape
If your theme supports it, you’ll see the “wide” button on the image toolbar. Give it a try.

Try selecting and removing or editing the caption, now you don’t have to be careful about selecting the image or other text by mistake and ruining the presentation.

The Inserter Tool

Imagine everything that WordPress can do is available to you quickly and in the same place on the interface. No need to figure out HTML tags, classes, or remember complicated shortcode syntax. That’s the spirit behind the inserter—the (+) button you’ll see around the editor—which allows you to browse all available content blocks and add them into your post. Plugins and themes are able to register their own, opening up all sort of possibilities for rich editing and publishing.

Go give it a try, you may discover things WordPress can already add into your posts that you didn’t know about. Here’s a short list of what you can currently find there:

  • Text & Headings
  • Images & Videos
  • Galleries
  • Embeds, like YouTube, Tweets, or other WordPress posts.
  • Layout blocks, like Buttons, Hero Images, Separators, etc.
  • And Lists like this one of course 🙂

Visual Editing

A huge benefit of blocks is that you can edit them in place and manipulate your content directly. Instead of having fields for editing things like the source of a quote, or the text of a button, you can directly change the content. Try editing the following quote:

The editor will endeavor to create a new page and post building experience that makes writing rich posts effortless, and has “blocks” to make it easy what today might take shortcodes, custom HTML, or “mystery meat” embed discovery.

Matt Mullenweg, 2017

The information corresponding to the source of the quote is a separate text field, similar to captions under images, so the structure of the quote is protected even if you select, modify, or remove the source. It’s always easy to add it back.

Blocks can be anything you need. For instance, you may want to add a subdued quote as part of the composition of your text, or you may prefer to display a giant stylized one. All of these options are available in the inserter.

You can change the amount of columns in your galleries by dragging a slider in the block inspector in the sidebar.

Media Rich

If you combine the new wide and full-wide alignments with galleries, you can create a very media rich layout, very quickly:

Accessibility is important — don’t forget image alt attribute

Sure, the full-wide image can be pretty big. But sometimes the image is worth it.

The above is a gallery with just two images. It’s an easier way to create visually appealing layouts, without having to deal with floats. You can also easily convert the gallery back to individual images again, by using the block switcher.

Any block can opt into these alignments. The embed block has them also, and is responsive out of the box:

You can build any block you like, static or dynamic, decorative or plain. Here’s a pullquote block:

Code is Poetry

The WordPress community

If you want to learn more about how to build additional blocks, or if you are interested in helping with the project, head over to the GitHub repository.

Thanks for testing Gutenberg!