Skaná Spa at Turning Stone: A Next Level Experience
Mother’s Day is just a few days away and there’s a good chance you’re struggling with what to get your mom. Don’t worry, we have an idea! At the end of last year, I had the pleasure of experiencing Skaná Spa at Turning Stone Resort Casino with my mom. As I get older, I’ve come to realize that I value experiences far more than material possessions. I figured this was a great way to spend quality time with my mom while also getting on the #selfcare train.
To give a little background, Skaná is the Oneida word for peace. Turning Stone’s website describes it as a place where “soothing treatments and modern amenities combine with American Indian cultural themes to create the world’s most luxuriously unique spa experience.” This is not an exaggeration. To say that it was a top-notch experience wouldn’t do it justice. The architecture and design of every part of the spa is stunning and the treatments themselves were unbelievable. You almost immediately feel at peace everywhere in the spa because it’s inspired by authentic American Indian culture and tradition.
Our spa day was next-level so I want to share what the experience was like from start to finish. Skaná is in The Lodge at Turning Stone and once I walked inside (after they valeted my car!), an employee directed me to the spa. When my mom arrived, we checked in at the front desk. The girl was super friendly and told us an attendant would be with us shortly. She also offered as an option for lunch in their café for $15 per person that included several options to choose from. I went with chicken salad, homemade pita chips, aged cheddar, fresh fruit, farro salad and a garden salad.
Seconds later, we were greeted by another friendly employee who took us down the stairs. She explained that they had just completed renovations and an expansion, adding more showers and other amenities. It felt like we had stepped into another world. There are different entrances for men and women and we were given the full tour of the women’s side. After going through what’s basically an orientation, we were shown to the lockers and given robes and spa sandals. After, we waited in the relaxation room for our attendants who would give us our treatments.
I opted for the 50-minute signature facial. This included cleansing, steaming, exfoliation, extractions, masks and a massage. Prior to my treatment, my therapist asked if I had any allergies. I explained I had sensitive skin so she was able to customize what products were used on my face. The treatment was glorious and relaxing and I didn’t want it to ever end… which may partially be due to the heated sheets I was lying under. At some point, she scrubbed my face and put on a mask. While the mask sat, I received an arm, shoulder and scalp massage. There was a machine that blew steam over my face too which was necessary due to my dry skin and it being winter. When the facial was finished, my therapist asked if I had any questions and we went over what she did and what types of products were used. She also said that she wrote all of it down and would leave it at the desk when I checked out.
After, my mom and I met back in the relaxation room. We changed into our bathing suits and got ready for the Balancing Waters Ritual. This is designed to be “relaxing, yet stimulating to the circulatory and central nervous system.” Basically, you’re guided through different treatments that incorporate cool and warm temperatures. We started in the steam room, then went around the corner to the showers for a quick, cool rinse. After, we headed into the sauna, then back to the showers. The next step is the mineral whirlpool (which is basically a gorgeous jacuzzi) to soak. Finally, we ended in the coed mineral pool for a dip and to relax. It’s hard to put into words how amazing this ritual was. There is detail and nature incorporated into everything and you can feel the Native American influence; from the soap products, to the tea, to the design and architecture, nature is everywhere and it has this ultra-soothing effect on your body and mind. The mineral whirlpool is much like a hot tub but larger and surrounded by stone with natural light beaming through the skylights. The wood used in the sauna has this masculine vibe and the stones in the steam room make you feel like you’ve stepped into another world.
The cool thing about this whole experience is that everything has a meaning. They use hot and cool treatments as a therapeutic balance of waters that alternates hot and cool water. This is supposed to increase circulation, detoxification, release of muscle tension and an overall tranquilizing effect of relaxation. Typically, the ritual is done prior to your treatment but if your spa service is early (like mine) you can still do everything after!
After my mom and I were done hanging by the mineral pool, we hit the showers to freshen up before lunch. When I say that Turning Stone spares no expense with their amenities at the spa, I’m not kidding! Each shower room is equipped with a razor, shampoo, conditioner, etc. I always get nervous using these types of products at hotels/public places but it all felt high quality! There’s also a large area to get ready in after with vanity mirrors, hair dryers, etc. and another room with lounge chairs and a fireplace to relax in after!
Overall, I can’t recommend Skaná enough. After we left, my mom said to never buy her any other presents for holidays – she will gladly always take a gift card to the spa! If you’re a daughter looking for a gift, I highly recommend doing a girl’s day with your mom and spending quality time together. If you’re a guy, just buy your mom a treatment from here and I promise she’ll love it.
I also want to note that there’s another spa on site called Ashi Day Spa & Salon. Both spas offer other services like a hair and nail salon if you’re really looking to pamper yourself! They’ve also received several accolades; Skaná was a recipient of SpaFinder’s 2013 award for Best Spa for Casino and Best Spa for Golf, Top 100 Spas of 2018, Spas of America and #1 New York Spa 2018. It is worth the money and you will undoubtedly leave more relaxed than when you arrived.