W Costa Navarino is a global destination with a local approach
Tombazis & Associates Architects designs W Costa Navarino, the latest addition to the luxury Peloponnese hospitality destination
This summer, the ever-evolving cluster of high-end hospitality that is Costa Navarino in the Messinia region of the Peloponnese is celebrating the opening of its newest addition – W Costa Navarino, the hip New York-born hotel brand’s first-ever outpost in Greece.
A little over ten years ago, you’d have been forgiven for being less than familiar with Messinia. This particular corner of Greece is as beautiful, rich, layered, authentic and steeped in history as they get – yet its relative inaccessibility from Athens at the start of the 21st century (a more-than-four-hour drive and with sparse flight coverage) meant that many international tourists preferred to turn towards the Aegean. That was before the Costa Navarino resort opened in 2010 – notably with two hotels, The Romanos and The Westin Resort Costa Navarino, and now recently completed private villas the Navarino Residences. The resort was spearheaded by visionary, Messinia-born founder Captain Vassilis Constantakopoulos, who set out to establish his home region as a top international holiday destination. Costa Navarino is now just that, and is served by a significantly upgraded road network to the capital and increased flight connections.
W Costa Navarino
Located at the Navarino Waterfront area, the new W Costa Navarino was designed by the Athens-based architecture studio of Alexandros Tombazis, an icon of Greek architecture. The studio’s legacy combines 20th-century influences such as modernist architecture and the Japanese metabolist movement, infusing them with a pioneering concern around sustainability and an eco-informed approach to designing buildings. This is an ethos shared by Costa Navarino, whose team aims to combine modern architecture with local materials and techniques, and an intensely site-specific and sustainable take.
In the case of W Costa Navarino, Tombazis’ team composed a cluster of cobbled paths, low, monolithic architecture, and elegantly angled, two-storey stone elements to recreate the feeling of a Greek coastal village. This chimes with the W brand’s community-focused feel.
The new hotel features an arrangement of a series of ‘village’ shops spread around a central ‘square’ and swimming pool – the hotel’s heart, designed by Tombazis alongside Athens’ (and 2012 Wallpaper* Architects Directory entry) K-Studio. Surrounding this area are modern versions of a bakery, a café, a deli and more. At the same time, the cleverly broken-down volume arrangement promotes natural shading and ventilation that mitigates the region’s hot summers, while allowing a variety of outdoor areas in-between for that distinctly Greek, indoor/outdoor atmosphere.
In the same vein, the swimming pool’s blue waters take the visitor on a journey, mirroring the nearby Ionian Sea, and leading into canals that connect to more private pool areas linking directly to the hotel suites. Meanwhile, green expanses filled with native Peloponnese species transform the whole into a leafy Mediterranean garden experience.
The accommodation, divided between lower bungalows and taller (yet still proportionate to the whole) buildings of suites, offers contemporary interiors in a range of configurations by London- and Athens-based MKV Design (which is also behind the spaces inside the hotel’s main entrance building). There are outdoor terraces, both paved and planted, and idyllic swim-up pools in some of the suites. The resort’s beach club, Parelia, which will offer an extensive music and dance programme and will be accessible to visitors outside the hotel’s enclave, has also been designed by Tombazis with K-Studio. Meanwhile, a dedicated spa and gym with a variety of wellness offerings add to W Costa Navarino’s range of activities and amenities.
‘W Hotels ignites a renewed sense of curiosity in Greece with the launch of W Costa Navarino,’ said Candice D’Cruz at Marriott International, which owns the W hotel brand. ‘The inimitable setting of Costa Navarino with its unspoiled Mediterranean landscape, natural beauty and free-spirited attitude is the perfect environment to bring to life our first W Escape in Greece. Pushing the boundaries with its forward-thinking approach to luxury, W Costa Navarino will further invigorate this pristine destination on the Grecian coast.’ §