Friday, July 25, 2014

Westin Costa Navarino - Kid Heaven

After checking in the night before into the Westin Costa Navarino, we spent our first full day on the property itself. Given I had spent the past week sweating my 2.5 year old tail off, I desperately wanted to go get my swim on. And fortunately for us, this hotel was built for kids, especially those who loved to swim!

After breakfast, I got in my swimsuit and grabbed my swim noodle. Given it was our first time here, we weren't exactly sure how to get to the big kid's pool. We called to see if there was a golf cart that would take us, but we had just missed the pickup time. So we decided to walk off some of those extra calories we picked up in Rome.

Casually walking through the beautifully landscaped property, my head was spinning looking at how awesome the entire resort was. My parents and I passed by two other large pool areas where we saw a bunch of European families enjoying the 85 degree July weather. We finally found a property map posted on the walkway and realized our destination was within sight and just around the corner!

Getting down to the actual pool area, I realized that there was actually 3 water slides for the older kids. Given I was still a toddler, I was too scared to ride down, but my father would take advantage later on!

Despite the resort being full that week, we were still able to find some open seats near an umbrella for shade. But I couldn't sit seeing all the fun colorful waterpark stuff everywhere I turned.

At first, I was a bit hesitant to start playing, but that soon wore off and I was off to the races. As you can see, the kids' pool was so spread out that it felt like I was all alone even though there were tons of other toddlers around.

After an hour of playing with me in the water, my father went inside to the 1950's Americana style diner where people were having lunch. But exploring further, we saw they actually had a full basketball court and a bowling alley. I was too young to enjoy these awesome activities, but I'm sure my older friends would have loved them.

The next day, we tried something different. Rather, my parents tried something different. On the property, there are two different child care facilities - Cocoon (ages 4 months-3 years old) and SandCastle (ages 3+).

Given I was less than 3 years old, I went to Cocoon. For the hotel's full description, click here. My parents paid €60 for a full day (two 3 hour sessions for €40, plus a  €10 supervised lunch hour, plus the €10 cost of lunch). So at 10AM, they arrived at Cocoon on the Romanos side of the resort to drop me off.

It looked clean and very well maintained. They walked in and saw a handful of other young kids being taken care of and so many toys and activities, it put my NYC day care to shame.

We met the child care workers (who spoke multiple languages, including English and Russian). They were actually another company that the Westin contracted with, which made us feel a lot better. After all, a professional child care company would staff its facility better than a hotel which may sub in a restaurant server or housekeeper if they were short staffed. 

As I told my parents, the day was full of fun activities that helped me learn about Greece, the natural environment the resort was located in and about Greek mythology.

  • They put my hair in wonderful Greek-style braids. 
  • They made me a Greek toga to dress up in. 
  • They even put an olive branch wreath for my head. 
  • I walked around outside and learned about the different plants and glued them into my homemade nature book. 
  • We went swimming in the tiny pool outside.
  • I played in the sand box. 
  • Lunch options that day were chicken nuggets or spaghetti - which I ate all of. 
It was just awesome. Honestly, I didn't want to go home when my parents came to pick me up later that day at 6PM. The Cocoon fee was just put on our room as a hotel charge, so everything was pretty seamless.

In fact, I really wanted to go back the next two days as well. While my parents didn't really plan on keeping me in Cocoon for so many days, they agreed because it also gave them a chance to spend some quality time together. It was their 5th anniversary after all. Over all, I went to Cocoon for 3 days (one full day and then two additional mornings).

Cocoon also had overnight care as well for parents who want to spend even more time together in the evenings. But I'm not sure why my parents would want to spend money for someone else to watch me while they went back to the room to sleep.

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