New at Turning Stone: Skana Spa

Skaná is the Oneida Indian word for peace—a fitting name for Turning Stone Resort and Casino's new luxury spa facility. Located in the MohawkValley region of New YorkState, the 30,000-square-foot spa is inspired by Native American healing practices and uses the principles of peace, balance and harmony in all its offerings.

Turning Stone Resort lies in the wooded Mohawk Valley of New York

Twelve treatment rooms, a VIP spa suite and a couple's suite are here, as is a 10,000-square-foot fitness center with an exercise and yoga studio. Both the men's and women's locker rooms have steam and sauna rooms, hydrotherapy showers and vanities stocked with Molton Brown amenities. Skaná's lowest level has a flower-shaped co-ed heated mineral whirlpool. Staff members are positioned throughout the locker room and in the fireplace-filled lounge area, to bring guests a robe, a beverage or anything else they may need.

The spa's unique feature is its authentic American Indian sweat lodge. Guests can experience a traditional sweat lodge ceremony, complete with storytelling, drumming, chants, and prayers in a customary fire pit. The practice has been used for centuries and was thought by Native Americans to be a way of spiritually "cleansing" the body and soul.

Traditional Healing

Spa manager Karen Watson designed a menu of various massage, body and skincare treatments that follow Oneida healing rituals and use natural ingredients such as herbs and flowers. The most popular treatments are the signature Skaná Sage Stone Massage and the Oneida harmony facial with aesthetician Sarah Carmadello. The Sage and White Pine hot towel massage and the Dandelion Mint Foot Cure are other popular choices. Book clients ahead of time for treatments; Skaná also features a full-service hair and nail salon.

Guests can relax in Skaná's earthy Garden Lounge area

The Native American theme extends to the spa's décor, which includes natural woods, stone-covered walls, trickling water, fireplaces, and authentic American Indian artwork. The rug in the main sitting room is made of tiny strips of animal hides, and bearskin rugs are scattered throughout the Garden Lounge and other sitting areas. A large woodburning fireplace is in the center of the main room, and scattered fresh flowers, trees and shrubbery also contribute to a relaxing and natural, earthy feel.

Outdoor activities include year-round scenic sunrise walks and daily yoga and tai chi classes on Turning Stone's expansive lawns. In the winter, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing are led by hotel staff members.

Spa cuisine is available at Skaná Spa Café; the menu offers gourmet salads and other light fare made with fresh ingredients, as well as freshly squeezed fruit juices and herbal teas.

Guests at the spa stay in The Lodge at Turning Stone, a 94-suite AAA Four Diamond boutique hotel that is attached to Skaná. Suites include king-sized beds and elegant linens, Jacuzzis, sitting rooms, and full Internet access. Guests can also relax in the Great Room, which is designed in the style of a traditional Oneida Longhouse and offers sweeping views of the woodsy property with its 20-foot-high floor-to-ceiling windows.

The spa opened in November 2006 and is smoke-free, alcohol-free, and cell phone-free. (The entire Turning Stone Resort is completely dry; guests are permitted to bring their own alcohol). All-inclusive spa packages are offered; roundtrip airport transfers from Syracuse and Albany airports are also available. There is no specific travel agent liasion; contact the spa's Accommodations Department at (315) 361-7711.

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