Greece : discover the area where Cristiano Ronaldo has left 20 000 euros tip

Everything here is born from the desire (and fortune !) the captain Vassilis Constantakopoulos. Besides, even the airport of Kalamata bears his name. And when it comes to the area of Costa Navarino, if the doubt persisted, we understand that we enter a universe Greek. For a moment, we think we have stepped back 4500 years back in time and see Ulysses come out to you want to welcome. Because the entrance of the Hotel Romano looks genuinely like a Greek temple. Marble columns of a dozen meters high, impressive, stand in front of you.

But already, a buggy, and his chauffeur taking you to your room. The entrance to the room, passing by the bathroom, the marble kingdom here master. Except outside where you will find an infinity pool. How can you resist… A third of the 320 guest rooms (330 euros) from the hotel Romano are identical to this one.

The falconer that protects your meal…

At the first breakfast, one remains stunned, the sandwich in the air above his bowl of coffee, when we see a colossus of 1,90 m. Rangers to toe, wearing a uniform beige clear way Daktari, and holding in her hand… a falcon !!!! The reason for this ? It includes perceiving spin 3 sparrows brave trying, unsuccessfully, to steal a few crumbs of croissant, here or there. But as soon as the raptor spotted, it is the stampede. It is not known how many birds the hawk recovers in the day, but it seemed to be well-sated as soon as in the morning… In any case, you may end up with safely.

The villa where he stayed for Ronaldo

The advertising for the service is therefore now more to do. Since Cristiano Ronaldo was so satisfied that he has left 20 000 euros tip to be shared amongst the 10 members of the staff who took care of him. The Royal Villa Methoni of 625m2 is not accessible to the first comer, since her night is still… 6000€. But the luxury and comfort are in tune. A personal butler, a staff of 10 people, a spa and hammam staff. And a quiet surrounding for any event offering the possibility to organize the nuba unforgettable…

Dare to try the thalasso spa at the Greek !

You feel tired or frippés, take the direction of the Spa which is spread over 4000 m2. And the good old thalasso, prefer the oléothérapie, with her massages with olive oil straight out of the presses.

Voidokilia : ranked among the 10 most beautiful beaches in the world

It will form an Omega-perfect, behind the dunes, and this is one of the most beautiful places of Greece. Yes, nothing less. Go there at sunset, whisper to him how beautiful she is, and maybe you tell its love story with Telemachus landed on this shore to find his father Odysseus.

It will also tell you that it is in the seeing that the captain Vassilis Constantakopoulos had the idea to build Costa Navarino, the dream of a lifetime, captivated as he was in front of the beauty of this emerald water.

The crazy dream of captain Vassilis Constantakopoulos

The “captain” was present at the inauguration, in 2010 (he died in 2011), the first phase of the project, including 2 5-star hotels. The Westin, more for the families, and the Romano, the sumptuous palace faithful to the architecture and environment of the region. The culmination of the project of an extraordinary life. Vassilis Constantakopoulos is the son of a family of modest farmers when he was born in 1935 in Diavolitsi, a small village in Messinia in the Peloponnese, South west Greece. In 1944, the civil war forces her family to flee to Athens.

Penniless, he lives on odd jobs. Delivery of milk in the morning, an employee in a factory of buttons the rest of the day. He helps his family of course but also, he pays for her night classes to complete his secondary education. Adolescence follows its course but Valissilis dream of travel and… long course. In 1953, he embarked on board a cargo ship as a simple sailor, without compensation. In the space of 20 years, he crosses all the levels and become… captain. “My most beautiful title,” he confided.

The now captain Vassilis bought his first ship in 1972. A small cargo ship, and then another, he calls Carmen in honor of the woman of his life. The captain Vassilis is a visionary. It includes before the other, that the future of the merchant marine will be the door-containers. It in fact construct a number of and his company “Costamare Shipping” became in the early 90’s the first airline in the world maritime transport. Paradoxically (the mode of propulsion of cargo is an activity that is a low polluting anyway…) the captain is from the 70’s, an activist with green. In fact, it will be one of the first to put its vessels to international standards for Co2 emissions. And above all, become rich, he has not forgotten his Messenian home. It is the region most isolated from Greece and over there, the tourism does not exist.

The shipowner billionaire green paces around the Messinia to find the place conducive to the realization of his dream : to build a tourist complex, high-end in harmony with nature. Well before the mode of ” eco-resort. “He found his promised land in the vicinity of the village of Pylos. He managed to convince hundreds of homeowners to sell their plots. Not simply by offering them more money than their actual value, but especially by explaining, with passion and sincerity, that this project will be also that of their children. In total, it buys more than 1000 plots on an area of 1100 hectares.

And He kept his promise. Today, 1200 people, all native to the area, working at Costa Navarino.

The golfers ‘ paradise

The captain had another passion, golf. He appealed to Bernhard Langer, winner of the Ryder cup and the Masters, to draw the course ” The Dunes “. For this, it was necessary first to save thousands of olive trees, most hundreds of years old. Vassilis had to dig up and replant throughout the course. You can see the ancestor, at the age of 700 years, throne, majestic, at the entrance to the club house.

True to its environmental convictions, the captain decided to dig a lake to receive the water of rain to water its 18 holes and choose a lawn to low consumption of water. The Dunes, a par 71 6018mètres, is a demanding course, but pleasant to deal with fairways wide enough. This does not prevent some reckless play a little ” easy “, the risk of the olives… and the bend of laughter. Another, The Bay, designed by the famous architect Robert Trent Jones Jr, is located 15 minutes from Costa Navarino (there is a shuttle bus every 30 min) and is sumptuous. Shorter than its neighbor, it is a par 71 5610m.

Rates : 100€ the 18 holes if you reside in one of the hotels and 120€ if you live outside the complex

To discover these 2 golf courses The company AEGEAN offers 2 flights per week, on Monday and Saturday, from Paris CDG, may 19 to October 8, to Kalamata, located 45 minutes away from golf courses, from€ 110 round-trip. The other possibility is to arrive in Athens (4 flights per day) and rent a car to get to Costa Navarino in 3 hours of highway 2 on highway.

The best table of the region

The captain was a gourmet, fond of the cuisine of his region, and he came very often to share meals prepared by these 2 women of which he had become a friend. When you mention his name in front of Lula and Ana, their eyes sparkle and they can’t stop talking about it. “One day, I will bring the whole world to taste your cooking” he said.

He bought a small house on the hillside, above the bay of Navarino and the island of Proti, and set up there. It has done well. This is the best table of the region. And it even learns to cook !

After a little Ouzo on the terrace, we put the stove under the orders of the smiling of the two mistresses of the house. You will prepare with them, the Hypolites (pasta Greek), the Kagianas (sautéed pork), or the Galopita (semolina cake). Dishes, simple, but incredibly fragrant. The wine, which comes from the vineyards of the captain, is served at will. And very quickly, bursts of laughter echo in the old building. Suddenly an air of Sirtaki rises. And Ana takes you and teaches you the national dance of his country. The night became crazy. It may even happen that the men be put to the challenge of getting on their knees, hands in the back, to attempt to drink the glass of wine placed in front of them on the ground, without spilling a drop.

Soon as you book your evening for 6 people minimum at the reception of Costa Navarino. the rates are £ 70 for adults and€ 30 for children over 12 years of age, but if you are many you can privatize the evening for 300€

Do you offer a villa in this paradise

If you have fallen under the spell of Messinia, the residences, five-star that offers you the company of captain Vassilis will have you dreaming. Imagine a villa by the beach, the Ionian sea to the horizon, or the one that overlooks the golf course, in the middle of olive trees and vineyards. Young and talented Greek architects have designed 3 projects of villas of exception, which combine the spirit of the regional architecture with a more contemporary, combining stone, glass and wood. In total respect of nature and the ecosystem.

The smaller, from 350 to 420m2 on a plot of 1400 to 1700 m2 with its facade of 29 meters, its 4 rooms, its swimming pool will be with you for 3 million euros. For 2 of more, you’ll have the 470 to 600 m2. But the devil of greed ! Opt squarely for the large, 700 to 1200m2 (3000m2 of land) consisting of 6 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms, and exterior volume grandiose. It is set to 8.5 million euros.

Each villa can be customized according to your desires, even if the prices already include a very nice interior decoration.

You’ll obviously privileged access to the whole resort of Costa Navarino, as well as the olive groves to extract your own olive oil. So chic…

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