Hospitality Design - October 2010 - 76
By Tara Mastrelli Photography by Eric Laignel and courtesy of Costa Navarino
Local culture and history inspire a resort King Nestor could be proud of
Sing to me, oh muse, the tale of a virgin land, located amidst lush olive groves on Greece’s southwest Peloponnese coast. Now home to a 320-acre, mixed-use beachfront development called Navarino Dunes, the first of four major developments in Costa Navarino, the owner only had one instruction for the design team. “Because we are talking about a very virgin part of Greece, the brief wasn’t really stylistic in any way. All he said was, ‘Whatever you do I want it to be extremely sensitive to the location,’” says Greek designer and managing director of London-based MKV Design Maria Vafiadis, who was responsible for all the interiors throughout the development, including the Westin Resort. “Apart from the natural beauty, what we had to take inspiration from was the history and the culture of the area,” says Vafiadis. “We’re talking about an area of Greece, which is extremely rich in historic events. It goes back to ancient times with Nestor’s Palace, but it’s also extremely significant for us because it goes through Byzantine times, through to contemporary times and the formation of
From top: Original olive trees in the garden, which were transplanted to a nursery during construction, lend a forever-there feel to the Westin Resort; in the courtyard, sculptural renditions of olive trees by young Greek designers bring a modern vibe to the ancient site. Opposite page: A cluster of hanging lanterns and colorful cushions in the lobby draw inspiration from the area’s Ottoman Empire rule.