After settling into a very nice suite, I immediately went to the Native American-inspired Skana Spa where the assistant manager started my tour – and Michael Tompkins, Turning Stone’s VP of Hotel and Spa, finished it for me. The spa was quite impressive. Here are some aspects of the facility that made an impression:
I liked the entry with the breezeway and a river flowing underneath (snow and ice covered it the weekend we were there).
The Native American theme seems to have been used in a classy way for a change.
The welcome lounge mirrored the Oneida welcoming ceremony.
Loved the carpet on the floor of that lounge. It looked like wood chips but was really made out of some kind of rubber material.
The 3,000-square-foot VIP suite (spa within a spa) was one of the largest I’ve seen.
The disguised TV in the VIP lounge was really disguised. All I could see was a large, beautifully framed mirror (maybe five feet by five feet). If Michael had not demonstrated that one could watch TV on that mirror, I never would have believed it.
The staff seemed friendly.
The dream-catcher artwork (all individual) in each of the treatment rooms was unique.
Spa Café – love that.
Pool and fitness center – well done, although the fitness facility and the spa are on opposite ends of the building.
On the following day I would sample the spa. That night Peter and I had dinner…and Turning Stone was able to get us tickets to see Josh Groban. I admit that I didn’t know who he was, but Stacey in our office said he has a fabulous voice and that I should not miss the opportunity.
You may have noticed that this is becoming a regular Friday feature on my blog. I’ve decided that sharing with you spa news of interest might offer additional information that you find helpful. What you may not know is that I select the news to share with you out of a barrage of incoming items and that the headlines are altered somewhat to make them more useful to you. My hope is that this will save you time. By simply scanning the headlines posted here each week, you can keep up with what is going on. If you want to read more on a topic, just click on the link.
I hope you find it helpful. Please let me know if you have other suggestions for our spa news digest.
The “Awakening Theme”. Like Miraval with its “Mindfulness,” awakening is seen in their logo, their purpose, their conversation, and in time will likely join the lexicon of spa experiences even outside of The Lodge at Woodloch
Food is some of the best I’ve ever had at a spa. Healthy but five-star quality presentation and taste.
Exercise equipment is the new Cybex, which is smooth and puts your body in the correct position to avoid any injury
The workout rooms all have views of nature
The spinning bikes are so state of the art…The front handlebar section actually moves from right to left as if you were really on a racing bike
Rooms are comfy
The indoor pool and two-level rock whirlpools with two sections of shoulder massage waterfalls is a veritable postcard (I predict it will become their “signature” photo)
The outdoor infinity whirlpool overlooks nature
Treatment rooms are spacious
Wet rooms – sauna, steam, indoor whirlpool – have views!
Outdoor screened-in porch for cooling off and relaxation after heat treatments
The Whisper Lounge is a huge boon to the client – a quiet place to relax after a treatment – separate from the place you lounge before a treatment where therapists interrupt the relaxation by calling out for their clients
Hospitality of John and Ginny Lopis who are truly “hands on” – as though you were visiting their home
Lows (Most can be easily remedied with a bit of time and training)
Meal service was slow – better the second day than the first
Fire alarm went off a few inopportune times, e.g. during my massage and at 6:00 a.m. (has already been fixed)
Robes are plush but a bit too warm for my taste
Too much food (and wine). Because the food is so delicious and the spa’s philosophy is “choice”, guests may choose to have seconds, more dessert, or to have wine, beer, or even hard liquor; it is going to really be a challenge to lose weight here. Perhaps they were so generous with the food because our group (Spa Finder Board of Directors) was part of the soft opening, and we have some board members who love to wine and dine. But if they are this generous with everyone else, people will certainly enjoy their stay here, be more relaxed, less stressed, and more fit – but they won’t likely be any thinner. That is, unless they stay long enough to absorb the spa’s lessons about choice and resisting temptation.
Conclusion: I think that this is going to become a very popular spa. They are in a great location – within driving distance of some 30 million people! And the mixture of spa and resort (and golf) will make it a vacation that spa lovers and non-spa lovers will like. Owners Ginny and John Lopis are veteran spa consultants who have built their ultimate destination spa. And they listen to feedback, both positive and negative. So my prediction is that next summer they will be selling out.
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