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Navarino Dunes is the first stage of the Costa Navarino dunes development and opened in 2010 incorporating the seriously chi-chi Romanos and this, the extremely family friendly Westin Resort, both of which share several excellent facilities.
The Costa Navarino concept has learnt a lot from the excellent hotels on Sardinia's Costa Smeralda, but the Westin has also taken note of the superb services at Forte Village resort on the same island.
Designed to resemble the mansions of wealthy Messinian merchants, the 445 rooms and suites appear in clusters of villas dotted around olive groves and overlooking the Ionian Sea, one of the many pools or the golf course, with most groundfloor rooms featuring infinity pools.
Guests can choose from a number of dining outlets including Morias which serves excellent traditional Greek and international cuisine, and the Lagoon Pool Bar which specialises in grilled dishes. There are also areas where families can cook their own barbeques.
In the Agora, the communal 'village' centre shared between the Westin Resort and sister hotel (and far more couple-friendly) the Romanos, there are many further options, including Da Luigi's Italian specialising in delicious antipasti and pizzas, Nargile for Middle Eastern classics and even an authentic Greek ice cream parlous, Kayak.
The Anazoe Spa has plenty of treatment rooms, but also thalassotherapy and flotation pools, ice-grottos, mist showers and herbal saunas. The particular USP is the menu of 'oleotherapy' treatments, using the oil from the region's vast olive groves and designed according to instructions found on ancient tablets from the nearby Palace of Nestor.
While mum and dad are enjoying all this pampering, they can rest assured (and covered in olive oil) that youngsters are being kept well and truly busy. The Cocoon nursery caters for 8 month to 4 year olds, with well trained staff and nurses running daily programmes aimed at stimulating children both physically and mentally. The Sandcastle is where older children can play and learn about the region's environment, myths and legends. There is also badminton, bowling, basketball, tennis, table tennis and golf available, including tuition, at the Sports Centre, and an aquapark complete with slides. Heaven.
The facilities for children at the Navarino Dunes hotels are possibly the best in the Mediterranean. We challenge any child to utter the immortal line 'I'm bored….' while staying at the Westin.
Harriet, Original Traveller