As part of our summer Greece trip we stayed five wonderful nights at the Westin Costa Navarino in the Peloponnese region. We drove here from Stoupa, Greece and stopped at the Polylimnio Waterfalls on the way. Both Stoupa and the waterfalls are highly recommended and have a different feel than the Westin. The Westin is a more typical resort but there is still a huge lack of tourists in the Peloponnese. We were one of the few tourists in this part of Greece and we saw maybe one other American.
The Westin Costa Navarino is part of the Marriott chain and it is possible to redeem points here. We were very fortunate to be able to book five nights all on the points in peak summer time. At the time we booked the hotel it was 35,000 points a night and because we booked five nights we got the last night free. On all Marriott award redemptions the fifth night is free. This was a great value of using points as the rooms can go for over $400 a night in the summer.
What to Do
Even if you aren’t able to use points, the Westin Costa Navarino is a truly great resort. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay here and we were able to enjoy some of the activities at the resort and nearby areas. The Westin is a great base for exploring this part of the Peloponnese. Just a few of the activities nearby include:
- Enjoy the beautiful property at Costa Navarino with hundreds of private pools, a water park, a gorgeous beach, and a golf course.
- Try one of the many restaurants at the property or take a short drive to the small town of Gialova for even better and more affordable options.
- Take a dip and hike around one of the prettiest beaches in the world at Voidokilia Beach.
- Drive south to explore other beaches and towns including Pylos, Methoni, and Koroni.
- Stop by the actual site of Palace of Nestor which is described described in Homer’s Odyssey and Iliad.
- Explore the ruins of Ancient Messene which consists of a whole city from the 3rd century BC.
- Hike the Polylimnio Waterfalls while enjoying the crisp cool waters.
As a Marriott Bonvoy Titanium member I tried to use my five night upgrade certificates to get upgraded to any of the rooms with a private pool. For whatever reason the upgrade did not clear before check-in. However, I was able to message the hotel the day before our check-in and they did their best to get us an upgrade.
At check-in we were put in a king suite with a private pool! They didn’t even use the upgrade certificates.
Our upgraded room was near the center of the resort and was pretty convenient to the other pools, restaurants, entrance, and the beach. Of course the best part was the private pool. The suite did have a small living room space just a couple of steps down from the king bed. The living room and bedroom could be separated with large inside curtains. The bathroom had a shower and a bathtub with an inside window that could be opened and closed to look into the bed area.
We really enjoyed the room, it was definitely one of the better hotel rooms we had stayed in. One tip… The air conditioning can only be set so low because of how hot it can get in Greece. If you call the front desk you can ask to lower the temperature below their set limit.
The Wesin Costa Navarino sits right next to a beautiful stretch of golden beaches. Compared to the beaches in Stoupa, Greece this one was significantly larger. You could walk for miles along the beach.
As a Michigander it reminded me of many beaches along Lake Michigan with a set of dunes before the water. From our room it was a short five minute walk but you could take a shuttle from further spots in the resort. From the drop-off point of the shuttle you follow a wood boardwalk and then down a set of stairs to access the water.
Once down on the beach the wood boardwalk continues to the next entrance to the resort. Along the boardwalk are spots to pickup beach towels and plenty of chairs. The chairs and beach loungers all have umbrellas and are set back from the water. You can order food and drinks from your chair which is always great. The food menu is a bit more limited than the restaurants back in the main resort area. The lack of people living in this area and tourists make this beach very uncrowded. The Costa Navarino resort is the only large scale accommodation in the whole area.
On the north end of the beach is a restaurant as well but closes early because of the wildlife. This area in Greece has a large population of sea turtles that lay eggs right on this beach. Because of sea turtles the whole resort was set further back from the water than you would expect and the waterfront restaurant has to close early. The lack of lights and people do make for a really great sunset spot which we enjoyed many nights.
There are quite a few restaurant options at the Westin Costa Navarino. Options include Greek, Italian, Japanese, American, Middle Eastern and seafood. For the full list of restaurants checkout the Costa Navarino website. The Westin also shares the restaurants with the Romanos. The Romanos is another Marriott property and is bookable on points as well. Because both the Westin and the Romanos share the same beach and restaurants there isn’t too much of a difference and are essentially the same property. From what I could gather the Romanos is even more high end and a little less family friendly.
We did manage to sample a couple of the restaurants. Most of them sit in the Agora (the main square) near the entrance of the resort. One thing to note is that nearly all the restaurants do not open for dinner until 7 PM and are outside with little shade. Even at 7 PM it is quite hot in the Greek sun. The restaurants we ate at in during our stay were expensive for this part of Greece and more in line with a typical resort. Despite the price the food was really good.
One of our favorite meals at the resort and a nice change pace from all the Greek cuisine we were eating was at the Middle Eastern restaurant, Nargile, pictured above. We also enjoyed the Italian restaurant, Da Luigi, twice because we loved the bruschetta so much.
For breakfast the main spot is the Morias for a buffet. We did not stop by there because as a Titanium member they gave us free complimentary access to Kooc. At Kooc, breakfast consisted of a traditional Greek buffet. Main options included fruit, yogurt, cheeses, bread, and savory pies. They also had a small menu you could order eggs and other Greek breakfast items in addition to the buffet. Having this more exclusive breakfast option complimentary was really nice. Kooc was never busy for breakfast.
Restaurants in Nearby Gialova
Even with the plethora options for food at the resort heading to the nearby town of Gialova is an absolute must. Gialova is only ten minutes from the Westin Costa Navarino and has some great food and shopping options.
The restaurants sit along the beach in front of a large bay. Views from the town were great but we enjoyed the food even more. To Spitiko was one of our favorite restaurants of the trip with their delicious food. We also ate a Elia Restaurant which was also good. Compared to the options at the Westin, we liked the food even more in Gialova. It was tastier and less than half the price.
Palace of Nestor
Another quick drive and a must see for anyone remotely interested in history is the Palace of Nestor. Homer’s Odyssey and Iliad actual describe the site which dates back as earlier as 1300 BC. Much of the structure is long gone it is quite impressive how much is still in tact. There are tiles, stairs, a bath, and even a throne room. When the site was excavated many Linear B tablets were found which is the earliest form of Greek.
The Palace of Nestor sits on top of a hill overlooking the sea below and the large bay in front of the towns of Pylos and Gialova. It is easy to see why an ancient civilization would setup a kingdom here. To preserve the remaining ruins a large metal structure was built over top of it. This keeps the ruins protected from the sun and tourists as there is an elevated walkway around the site.
Staying at the Westin Costa Navarino provides a great experience and easy access to many nearby attractions. Many of the resort rooms have a private pool which really makes this property great. The beach is beautiful and not crowded at all. There are plenty of good options at the resort and even better restaurants in nearby Gialova. The cash rate for the Westin may be a little on the high side for this part of Greece but it is an extremely great value on points. If you stay here make sure to explore the beautiful countryside, quaint towns, and gorgeous beaches (like Voidokilia Beach pictured above!). The lack of crowds in the Peloponnese is reason alone to visit.
All right, let’s go back to Greece!