Developers have revealed plans for Greece’s first mixed-use resort, with luxury hotels, state-of-the-art conference facilities and golf courses, located in the Greek region of Messinia, 230km from Athens.

The project, known as Costa Navarino, is being headed by Temes SA (Tourism Enterprises of Messinia SA), and will eventually feature 11 hotels managed by internationally renowned brands, extensive convention space, seven golf courses, six Thassalo centres and spas, and a marina.

Starwood Hotels and Resorts is scheduled to open the first two properties in May next year – a 445-room Westin and a 320-room Luxury Collection hotel. Both are located in the Navarino Dunes site and will have access to a 5,000 sqm multi-functional conference centre, which will sit between the two. It will accommodate about 2,000 delegates and, in addition to a ballroom and 11 meeting rooms, will feature outdoor space capable of hosting large banquets and screenings.

May will also see the 18-hole, par-72 Dunes course open. Managed by Troon Golf and designed by Bernhard Langer, it will be followed by the 5,760-metre Bay course at the end of 2010. The second phase will also see a Banyan Tree resort open in 2011, in the Navarino Bay site.

As well as offering activities throughout the year in the form of water sports, rock climbing and mountain biking, the resort is keen to promote the fact that it will be 100 per cent emission free, employing solar and geothermal energy.

While the destination will be an obvious choice for Greek corporates, Achilles Constantakopoulos is confident that it will appeal to the international market too. “We are in discussions about setting up daily connecting flights from Athens to Kalamata airport next year, so as to make it easy for those who are not make the journey by car,” he says. (Driving from Athens to Costa Navarino takes about three hours.)

Easyjet, BA and Olympic Airlines regularly serve the London to Athens route with flights throughout the day.

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