Mandarin Oriental Costa Navarino: inside the new Greek retreat

By John O’Ceallaigh

Mandarin Oriental’s expansion into Europe continues. Following the debut a few months back of Mandarin Oriental Palace, Luzern, Mandarin Oriental Costa Navarino will launch in the Greek Peloponnese at the end of this summer, with suites now available to book from September 1st. The resort will be found in the Costa Navarino region, already home to a Westin, W and a Luxury Collection property called The Romanos but still a relatively unexplored area as far as Greek holiday destinations go.

The new Mandarin Oriental is set to be the fanciest option in the area, and it looks spectacular. Alongside its suites, its 99-key inventory features a range of “sheltered villas” that are built into the hillside. Across the board, accommodation will feature a Mediterranean colour palette and floor-to-ceiling windows will open up to link indoors and out. 

Leisure facilities will include an elaborate spa that sprawls over two storeys, with a hammam, hot-and-cold hydrotherapy circuit, and an inside-outside pool facing the sunset. Guests will be able to enjoy a full activity programme that ranges from the active (sailing, scuba diving, yachting and kitesurfing) to the relaxing (olive-oil and wine tasting, cooking classes, fishing, beach yoga). Philosophy walks and astronomy nights sound appropriately cerebral for a destination that’s done so much to advance our understanding of the world, though golfers might prefer to contemplate life’s mysteries on the course – there’s one directly at the resort and another three in the Costa Navarino region more generally.

Should guests want to explore their broader surroundings, they’re fairly close to Olympia, from where the Olympic flame commences its journey in advance of each Games. Other sites of interest include the Archaeological Museum of Pylos, with its prehistoric and Roman treasures; Gialova Lagoon, a protected nature reserve; and little-visited Proti Island. In truth, the merit of some of those attractions is variable and it’s debatable whether cosseted guests will be much inclined to explore beyond the facilities found within the Mandarin Oriental and the Costa Navarino recreational region more generally, but it’s perhaps reassuring to know they’re there.

The resort’s pool bar

Back at the property, food will be a big focus. There’ll be a total of five restaurants and bars, with chef Bertrand Valegeas – previously of the very well-regarded Four Seasons Athens – taking charge. In tribute to his homeland, his Brasserie de la Bay restaurant will serve French cuisine; Oliviera Restaurant will serve modern Greek; Tahir will specialise in LEvantine cuisine; Sapienza Pizza is self-explanatory; The Private Kitchen will provide private dining experiences for parties of up to 16 people; the Three Admirals Lounge will be the spot for light snacks, coffees and people-watching; Ormos Beach Club will serve healthy, casual dishes by the pool and sea – a 2-kilometre-long beachfront runs in front of the resort.

All in all it should be very easy to while away a few carefree days here, and connectivity for travellers throughout Europe is fairly easy. The resort is less than an hour’s drive from Kalamata Airport (if you’re in the UK you can fly direct from Manchester, Bristol and London). Alternatively, the hotel is a three-hour drive from Athens. 

Suites at Mandarin Oriental Costa Navarino start from €990.

If you’re looking to book a stay at Mandarin Oriental Costa Navarino or other luxury hotels in Greece and beyond, LUTE can provide additional privileges and benefits to enhance your holiday (think upgrades, complimentary dining credits, and more), at the best-available room rate. Email for more information or to make a booking.

LUTE is a luxury-travel consultant and content agency that works with hotel groups, tour operators, tourist boards, airlines and more. You can learn more about LUTE hereFor frequent luxury-travel updates, follow LUTE and LUTE founder John O’Ceallaigh on Instagram.

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