The first phase of Costa Navarino, a new luxury destination in Greece, is to launch on May 1 next year.


The development stretches over the unspoit region of Messinia in the southwest Peloponnese. The destination will be home to a cluster of luxury hotels, golf courses, spas and restaurants.


Costa Navarino managing director Achilles Constantakopoulos, whose father bought the land from more than 1,000 different owners, said: “This is not a mega resort but a series of carefully planned projects with respect for the enviornment. We don’t want to be Dubai – we want to get the locals involved and make sure visitors get an authentic Greek experience.”


The first phase at Navarino Dunes includes two five-star hotels, a village centre with restaurants and shops, and a sports centre.


The Romanos, part of Starwood Hotels’ Luxury Collection, will have 289 rooms and 32 seaside suites with private pools. The second hotel, a Westin Resort, will have 445 deluxe rooms and suites with 123 private infinity pools.


The second phase of the development, expected to open in 2011, will have the first Banyan Tree Resort in Europe, a children’s club and golf course.


Constantakopoulos is working towards using 100% renewable electrical energy and will be using only local produce in the restaurants. The resort is a 10-minute drive from Kalamata International Airport or three hours’ drive from Athens.