Located in the tranquil Mohawk Valley near Syracuse in Upstate New York, Skana: The Spa at Turning Stone is a 33,000-square-foot salon, spa and fitness facility on the grounds of The Turning Stone Resort & Casino, an enterprise of the Oneida Indian Nation—skana is the Oneida word for peace.
The salon offers haircuts, color, styling, makeup applications, waxing, paraffin treatments, and nourishing herbal manicures and pedicures.
Michael Tompkins, Turning Stone's vice president of hotel and spa operations, describes the spa as "a sanctuary where soothing treatments and modern amenities combine with ancient American Indian healing traditions to create the world's most luxuriously unique spa experience." The spacious spa includes 12 treatment rooms, one private VIP spa suite and a couple's suite.
The spa cafe features a menu of fresh, organic selections, like creamy whole-grain buckwheat from Bob's Red Mill, to-die-for oatmeal-berry muffins and a baby arugula salad with blood oranges and candied pecans, in addition to smoothies, herbal teas and Voss water
Spa Manager Karen Watson, who previously worked at Canyon Ranch in Lenox, MA, created a menu based on the benefits of time-honored herbal remedies and water therapies combined with today's technological advances in skincare and body work. "The foundation for our treatments is the use of nature's healing herbs, leaves and flowers, complemented by the finest skincare products available today," she says. Body wraps and scrubs, for example, feature rosemary, aloe, salt, lavender and chamomile—herbs and plants known for their exceptional exfoliating properties. Skana's Balancing Remedies feature the healing powers of therapeutic herbal and mineral wraps and scrubs, warm stones, restorative baths and relaxing massages. Skincare treatments include facials and masks made from holistic, deep-cleansing and nourishing ingredients, such as pumpkin, black currant, mint, dandelion and wild black cherry.
The cafe's steamed vegetable plate
Guests who book spa packages stay at The Lodge, an award-winning luxury boutique hotel attached to the spa. Instead of chocolates on their pillow, guests return to their rooms at night to find a Native American dreamcatcher on the bed.
The herb garden features indigenous herbs like lavender, sage and cardamom that are incorporated into treatments and products.
Meanwhile, the spa cafe offers a variety of fresh and healthy gourmet food for breakfast and lunch, and the staff works hard to accommodate the whims of its guests.
The mineral pool
Also on the property is a traditional Native American sweat lodge. The experience features drumming, chants and prayers that have been used for centuries to spiritually cleanse the body and soul.
Steam room and sauna are utilized in the Balancing Water Ritual
New are the spa's weekend wellness programs for women that address such issues as living and loving after loss, building healthy mother/daughter relationships and leadership. For more information, call 800/771-7711. —M.D.
Which alternates hot and cold therapies to rid the body of impurities.