Costa Navarino: The Future of Tourism
In May 2010, Navarino Dunes, the first phase of the Costa Navarino development project, will proudly open its doors to the public on the ancient shores of Messinia in the Peloponnese- the culmination of 15 years of vision, meticulous planning, and breakthrough design.
This mixed-use luxury tourism endeavour, undertaken by TEMES development company, fuses the unspoiled natural beauty and 4,500 year cultural footprint of the Messinia region with the expertise and quality of the world’s top tourism brands. The result is one of the Mediterranean’s most desirable and unique destinations—and a shining example of modern, sustainable tourism investment in Greece.
The Navarino Dunes project, phase one of the Costa Navarino vision, covers 130 hectares of pristine land overlooking a stunning kilometre of white sandy beach and the crystalline waters of the Mediterranean.
The development features two breathtaking luxury resort investments by Starwood, one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world. The Romanos, A Luxury Collection Resort, offers 321 rooms and suites with private infinity pools in all ground floor units and a colossal 640 m2 Presidential Villa. The Westin Resort, Costa Navarino, offers the ultimate family holiday getaway with 445 deluxe rooms and its own 625 m2 Presidential Villa.
Both resorts additionally offer countless year-round activities, from outdoor sports to cultural outings, retail therapy in the complex’s ‘Agora’ shopping centre to the ancient Greek oleotherapy (oil treatment) in the 4000 m2 Anazoe Spa. The development will also cater to the professional community with world-class conference facilities and business centres.
Navarino Dunes will also feature Greece’s first 18-hole signature golf course. This course will be managed by the world renowned Troon Golf and will feature a full driving range, practice area and panoramic views of the sea. A second course, the 18-hole Navarino Bay course, is scheduled to open in 2011 with large-scale additional phases of the Costa Navarino project (Navarino Bay, Navarino Hills, and Navarino Blue) being unveiled in subsequent years.
Despite its size, however, the Costa Navarino project was also designed around eco-friendly principles—to support the local culture and environment rather than detract from them. The entire development will only build upon 10% of the land, preserving the area’s natural beauty and diverse ecosystem. The development will feature revolutionary water, energy, and waste management practices using the latest green technologies. The complex will also house the Navarino Environmental Observatory (N.E.O) in collaboration with the University of Stockholm and the Centre of Environmental Health and Biophysics at the Biomedical Research Foundation of the Academy of Athens, a dedicated research centre devoted to study climate change and its impacts on the natural environment in the Mediterranean region. Drawing upon the Messinian culture, each low-rise resort will be modelled after local architecture and materials and seamlessly integrated into the surrounding hills. Guests are invited to interact with the local culture and use the resorts as a starting point to explore the historic sites of the ancient Messinian era.
The Costa Navarino development represents a groundbreaking investment in high-value tourism throughout the Mediterranean, but it also signifies Greece’s high potential in luxury eco-tourism: projects that are both environmentally sustainable and those that derive value from the local culture. Greece, with its pristine environment and rich cultural history, will no doubt be a global leader in eco-tourism development for the coming years, as the nation sets its sights on becoming the most advanced tourist destination in the Mediterranean. With a sharp upward trend in Greek tourism arrivals over the last ten years and a sharp rebound in the global tourism industry expected from 2010 onward, Invest in Greece Agency and the Greek Government have highlighted eco-tourism as a main growth driver for the Greek economy. Without question, investments like Costa Navarino present a bright, profitable, and altogether exciting future for the nation’s flagship tourism sector.