Tuesday, November 22

TRAVEL COLUMN: A Visit To Turning Stone Resort and Casino

A Perfect Thanksgiving Retreat, 
 Skʌ:nʌ́ Spa at The Lodge at 
Turning Stone Resort Casino
by Tracy Gavant
 Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite Holidays; spending quality time with family, enjoying a delicious fall feast and giving thanks for all of my blessings.  But recently, I have felt a bit guilty celebrating, given our complicated past with the Native American Indians. 

I recently discovered the perfect place for a post-Thanksgiving getaway--one that honors the beliefs and traditions of America’s original inhabitants passed down long before the Pilgrims arrived.  We visited the SkAnA Spa at Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, NY.
Housed in The Lodge at Turning Stone Resort Casino and owned by the Oneida Indian Nation, Skʌ:nʌ́ offers modern spa treatments combined with Native American Healing principles to create inner peace and harmony for their guests.  In fact, the name “Skʌ:nʌ́” is the Oneida word for peace, and you will certainly find it there!
Tucked away from the bustling energy of the casino and resort, The Lodge is a Forbes 4-star property that combines modern architecture with natural elements like slate, stone and wood.  There are Native American influences throughout the building, including original artwork and framed artifacts.
The design of Skʌ:nʌ́ Spa celebrates the heritage of the Oneida People by incorporating elements of their rich American Indian traditions and rituals, centering on the belief of living in harmony with nature.
This luxurious spa was designed with architectural features inspired by Oneida ancestral structures.  The large reception lounge is reminiscent of a Longhouse, with its fire pit and stick ceiling and each treatment room showcases a unique dream catcher on the wall, inspired by a different Oneida legend. The sauna and steam room incorporate hot stones, the whirlpool is leaf-shaped, and there is sculptural seating carved from trees throughout the spa. Even the wallpaper and etched glass walls feature a leaf motif, complementing the beautifully landscaped paths and ponds outside.
Native American-inspired treatments utilize hot stones, herbs and essential oils to offer healing of the body, mind and spirit.  My fave was their signature Sage & White Pine Hot Towel Massage, which combines deep tissue massage and steaming hot towels with a sage and white pine oil blend. White Pine is thought to be the Great Tree of Peace and Sage is used for clarity.
All treatments include the traditional Balancing Waters Ritual, which honors water as an important life force; the therapeutic balance of alternating hot and cold-water baths and dry sauna inhalations increases circulation and detoxifies.  They also offer many seasonal specialties during the fall, such as a Pumpkin Pie mani/pedi and a Maize and Rosehip Facial.  Besides pampering my body, I also indulged my other senses at the Lodge’s award-winning Wildflowers restaurant, featuring an orchestrated culinary adventure that concludes with tableside-churned ice cream.
The Native Americans have a lot to teach our modern world about living in harmony with nature, which is something to be thankful for this or any season  

Turning Stone Resort Casino
 5218 Patrick Road, Verona, NY 13478
(315) 361-8200 
please read more about Tracy Gavant here