The Oneida Nation has created a major casino, a five-star hotel, a world-class golf course and now has its sights set on creating a destination spa for the well-heeled. Skana Spa, which opened last November in the new lodge, is launching a series of women's wellness weekends designed to meet the needs of women at different stages of life and career.
The retreats are conducted by therapists Marcia Bernstein and Kristine Huffman. The two were recently brought on board by Michael Tompkins, vice president of hotel and spa operations. Tompkins used to work with Bernstein and Huffman at the exclusive Canyon Ranch Spa in western Massachusetts.
They are the best the spa industry has to offer, Tompkins said.
Their clients include Fortune 500 companies and business executives. Tompkins also plans to add nutritionists, dermatologists and exercise physiologists to the staff. He said the facility was recognized as one of the 240 best spas in the world and one of the top 10 new spas in the nation.
The $2,595 weekend package will buy you transportation to and from the airport, lodging, access to indoor and outdoor fitness classes, small group, guided meditation sessions with Bernstein and Huffman and credit at the meticulously appointed spa.
Participants learn how to be more aware of themselves and their surroundings.
"It's an experience, not therapy," Bernstein said.
She teaches techniques found in transcendental meditation to create a sense of mindfulness and meditative moments throughout the day.
Transcendental meditation had a lot rules, Bernstein said. Most Americans can't handle all the rules. We want people to know how accessible meditation is. The truth is, you don't need coffee to perk yourself up. Just allow yourself to be in your body.
Take time to notice how you breathe, Bernstein said. You'll feel like time expands when you do this. Just as we get triggered into stressful situations, we can get triggered into calming situations.