Welcome Katie Lara: The Romanos, A Luxury Collection Resort Review in Costa Navarino, Greece

I was sent on an all-expenses-paid trip to Costa Navarino to share my experience with my lovely readers. If you haven’t heard of Costa Navarino, you should check out my Guide to Costa Navarino post to see all the amazing things there are to do in this area of Greece. I always like to be up front with my readers about what I have paid for and what was given complimentary to me for purposes of a review. I am always honest about my opinions, hence the up front disclosure 🙂

I was a guest at The Romanos, A Luxury Collection Resort, here is my review of this fabulous, family-friendly gem of a luxury hotel.

Arrival

You have a couple options to get to Costa Navarino. You can fly to Athens and then take a shuttle through Romanos or Westin (it’s about 50 Euros/pp). The drive is about 3.5-4 hours depending on traffic. You can also fly to Kalamata airport, which then is only about a 1-hour drive (45 km) to Costa Navarino.

We took Emirates’ direct flight from Newark to Athens. The flight was very easy and the plane was beautiful. Aegean Airlines also offers flights to Athens from New York with connections and these are a little less expensive. Oh, and if you’re traveling from Europe, there are frequent daily ferry connections from Italy to the port of Patras. I am also told that there are very quick & direct flights from destinations like London. Lucky ducks!

Where to Stay Costa Navarino

The lobby is breathtaking when you pull up. Just stunning. Great and easy check in.

Here are just a few more shots.

Welcome Amenity? Pomegranate juice was offered in champagne glasses. Very refreshing after the trip.

The Grounds

The Romanos, A Luxury Collection Resort has won many awards over the years so I was very excited to come check it out. The property stretches along the Navarino Dunes in Costa Navarino. To be clear, there are actually 2 hotels really, there is the Romanos, which is the ultra-fancy half, and the Westin Costa Navarino, which is actually Five Star as well. The Romanos though is a bit more of a luxe focus. That said, the hotels share many amenities on the property like the Kids Club (more on this soon), shops, golf courses and restaurants. It’s actually quite a massive property so buggies help you to your room with your luggage and occasionally to a dinner or activity if you’d like.

At the Romanos, there are 321 rooms, suites and villas at the Romanos Resort. They all offer amazing views, many of the Ionian Sea. There are also two golf courses—the Dunes Course and The Bay Course. It has become a golf destination in Greece, offering extensive golf facilities. The Romanos also offers Anazoe Spa, which is a full service and amazing destination.

The Romanos Resort also offers tons of recreational activities like hiking, biking, mountain biking and climbing. The staff will set up any excursion you’d like and most rental equipment is right on the property.

The Pool: The pool is probably my favorite part! It is absolutely stunning and there was a swim-up bar—be still my heart. I only wish I had more time to relax here.

The Beach: The beach is absolutely gorgeous and there is a lovely restaurant right on the beach with a fabulous view of the water offering delicious cuisine, cocktails and even exotic fruit smoothies. We had a dragon fruit one, which was divine. We didn’t get to spend much time lounging at the beach as our trip was pretty full with activities but we did enjoy our snacks by the beach and enjoy the views.

Where to Stay Costa Navarino

The Lobby

The lobby is open air and absolutely stunning. The moment you pull up you are greeted by a sea breeze and the Greek spirit, which is evident in the lobby’s design, which takes style cues from the famous King Nestor. Loved the oversized white couches and tropical feel of it all. However, it maintains the Greek feel, which I like. I didn’t feel like I was just at any old beach resort. It was a distinct Greek feel, which is the perfect welcome.

The Rooms

Our room was gorgeous with a view of the Ionian Sea. My parents were in a room with a view of the pool, which was also beautiful. Tomato, tomaahhhto.

Where to Stay Costa Navarino

The room décor was modern with sleek lines and dark woods.

Closet/Dresser Details? The closet was lovely and had a light inside.

Charging Situation? There were plenty of chargers (except in the bathroom, which is a European thing). The living room though had USB adapters in a couple spaces, including one high-power plug.

Turn-Down Service: Yes, of course.

Bottled Water?  Complimentary and plentiful.

Coffee maker?  Espresso machine/Tea.

Reading Material in the Room. Yes, loved reading the magazines about the local area.

Terrace: The terrace was probably the favorite element of our room. We had breakfast out there every day (a buffet was included but it was too hard to get there with my daughter. I wish that they gave you the option to order a simple breakfast and coffee to your meal instead. We had to pay for this separately, which was fine for the convenience). The view was delightful and the privacy was wonderful for us. There was a sunbed out there that remained in the shade, which was perfect for us.

 

White Glove Inspection: Couldn’t find a thing to complain about. And you know we lift the mattresses up and strip the bed. As New Yorkers, we’ve learned you can’t be too careful. The room had A LOT of white, too and I couldn’t find a spot.

The Bathroom

Clean, double sinks. There is an ensuite toilet and separate shower. There is also an oversized tub. There was a sliding door, which can be opened so that if you have time to take a soak you can look out the window and feel the Greek breeze. You wouldn’t be able to see the sea from the tub how our room was set up, perhaps there are rooms where you could though.

Makeup Mirror? Yes m’aam. A must for me. Not that I have much time to fix my face now that I have a baby.

Hairdryer? Yes, decent quality and good power.

Towel quality? Excellent

Robes? Yes, even one for baby G

Amenities? Everything was top notch. Included Q tips and Cotton pads, sewing kit, the usual suspects.

The Food & Drink

I was really impressed with the food quality. We didn’t have a bad meal our entire time. However, we did try out the buffet at the Westin, which was just not for us. It is an excellent option though if you have kids or picky eaters and just want something easy and fast.

The other restaurants though, the Greek tavern and the Italian restaurant, da Luigi and the beach restaurant were fantastic.

It’s kind of an interesting setup, there is an area called the Agora, which in Greece is like a marketplace. It feels like you leave the hotel and go to town so to speak. This was kind of nice because it feels like you are leaving the premises, while still having the convenience of not.

It is a very casual and laid-back vibe everywhere, which for us having a new baby was perfect. There were tons of kids and they kind of just ran around and enjoyed themselves. Now that I have children this doesn’t bother me at all. However, if you are looking for a quiet adult getaway I thought it was worth mentioning. Like I said though, for luxe-loving families, I think it is perfect.

My perfect day would be to have smoothies at the beach restaurant, spend the morning at the beach, lunch at the beach restaurant and then retire to the pool when the sun reached its height. Get some drinks at the pool bar and then hit up the incredible spa (more coming on that). For dinner I would head over to the Agora and enjoy dinner at the Greek taverna or da Luigi. They played live music on a giant screen every night, different concerts and such. We loved this. There was then a cute little bar, which played club music.

Classy Hotel Bar? I was shocked at the cocktail quality, which was great. We loved the Ajax Lounge, which is the bar. They made everything from old-fashion cocktails to tropical concoctions. I loved the heavy crystal glasses that they served them in too.

The Spa

This 40,000 square foot spa is larger than life. The facilities are some of the best I have seen in any spa I have visited in the world. Seriously probably top five if not number one. I was quite impressed with the facilities and the level of service. The spa offers an exceptional menu of specialty treatments based on ancient Greek health and beauty practices, utilizing the area’s exclusive natural ingredients and unique products.

The award-winning Anazoe Spa also has several signature treatments based on the teachings of Hippocrates, the ‘father’ of western medicine. The therapeutic olive oil treatments (oleotherapy®) are based on ancient local practices inscribed on clay tablets discovered at the nearby Palace of Nestor.

The facilities were so well-kept, tidy and modern. My massage was amazing.

The Little Things

Did I feel truly welcome by the staff? Yes, every person on the property had a lovely disposition.

Wi-Fi? Yes, included.

Mini-Bar? Yes.

Flowers & Foliage: My family and I were so blown away by the foliage all on the grounds o

Special Treats: Turndown desserts?

Good For Families: Yes, yes, yes! There isn’t a hotel I have seen in existence that would be better for luxe-loving families!!!! It’s incredible. More on this below.

Where do Most Guests Hail From? Seemed as though there were many Greek people as well as Europeans.

Activities

Guests are encouraged to discover the culture of Messinia and participate in traditional activities that locals enjoy. The hotel offers a lunch that can be enjoyed while local women sing traditional songs and make a traditional pasta.

You can also participate in an olive oil tasting or wine-making activity. My favorite activity the hotel organized for us was the authentic cooking class, which was hosted outside in a local home (I’m pretty sure it’s just staged for the class but I kind of prefer that).

It was perfect, you learn real local recipes from two women who let you enjoy just enough work and just enough relaxation. I seriously stuffed my face at that meal it was so delicious.

We got to try our hands at rolling pasta, folding spanokopita and mixing the perfect tzatziki. Then we finished the meal with a dance lesson–if only I had taken advantage of a little more wine haha. This was great fun and at the end you get to take home the recipes–the perfect souvenir.

Oh and then there is me dancing on the table, embracing Greek culture…for research purposes exclusively. Obvs.

Family Stuff

Cocoon is the day care facility and it’s so impressive. It caters to guests from only 4 months to 3 years old. Cocoon offers a dedicated play area for your baby or toddler to enjoy and creates colorful memories through painting, collage, clay sculpture, drawing, role-playing and other activities.

On a daily basis, toddlers get engaged in non-competitive interactive sports which emphasize confidence like football, basketball, racquet sports, and golf. An extra fee applies (about 75 Euros/day) but this is for full-service care from 10-6! Whatta bargain. If I was more brave, I could have left Gemma. Next time! There are such nice facilities for the children to nap, each in their own room in a crib. 

Sandcastle is for children a bit older. There are spacious game areas, slides, design and drawing workshop and a theater style courtyard.

The facilities for families are awesome–there is a full four-lane bowling alley, basketball court, pool tables, Playstation consoles, private movie theater and also a museum about the local area and environment where kids are encouraged to learn about being green. Oh and did I mention the theme-park caliber water park? It’s epic.

I was blow away by all of this.

And a museum and learning facility for kids!? Wow.

The Wow Factor(s):

I loved our lunch with the local ladies who sang and created pasta while we dined. The food was an incredible feast of Greek classics and the songs and ambiance were perfect. I also will never forget my coffees and smoothies at the restaurant by the beach. And then there was the cooking class they organized for us. Then there are the amazing views of the sea and of the pool and hotel grounds. And then the super luxe spa.  I don’t know where to begin.

The Bottom Line: Would I recommend it? Am I coming Back?

I loved it! Katie Lara approved!

The Romanos, A Luxury Collection Resort Information

Address: Navarino Dunes, Costa Navarino, Messinia, Costa Navarino 240 01, Greece Phone:

Phone: +30 2723 097000

*Disclaimer* As is common in the travel industry, writers are provided with complimentary services for review purposes. Although my visit was part of a press trip–meaning that I did not pay, all opinions herein are my own. You can’t buy the love here, people! Just ask my husband!

*Thank You* My parents and husband deserve a special shout out for photo taking as well as taking care of little baby G so that we could make this trip happen and this blog post as well!

 

 

 

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