Tranquility is Easy to Find at These Casinos in Indian Country: Part 1

Tranquility is Easy to Find at These Casinos in Indian Country: Part 1

Jordan Wright

When the urge to nourish the body as well as the spirit comes to us, we should be ready to receive the signal.  Our active lives need periods of rest, relaxation and rejuvenation to stay in balance. When traveling through Indian Country there are plenty of soul-soothing places to choose from, but it’s especially rewarding when a first class spa is found within a deluxe resort.

For the thrill-seeker the casino offers a glittering nightlife and sheer exhilaration - cranking up the endorphins and getting the adrenaline flowing.  Gamblers fine-tuned to the bright lights and all-night action feel their pulse quickened over a roulette wheel, gaming table or bank of slots, yet the call for periods of tranquility that appeal to our inner selves, still resonates.

So whether the heat comes off a lucky streak or an aromatic steam bath, you can satisfy both cravings at one of these four casino resorts designed to combine both excitement and healing under one big roof. Enjoy part one of our look into four of the best spas in Indian Country located at casinos.

Mohegan Sun - Connecticut

Situated on 240 acres along the Thames River in Uncasville, Connecticut, the Mohegan Sun is one of the largest casinos in the world.  A member of the prestigious Preferred Hotels Group, that defines its members as an elite group of independently owned properties, the 32-story hotel was established by the Mohegan Tribe of Connecticut and is a mere 15 minutes from the scenic waterfront of historic Mystic Country.

The resort’s beauty salon and full-service Spa at Elemis debuted in 2003, occupying

the entire third floor in the hotel’s Sky section.  Here guests enjoy signature ancient healing therapies with authentic Mohegan themes.  The Ceremony of the Sacred Sun is a lime and ginger salt glow treatment coupled with a self-tanning treatment that gives an all-over glow to the skin and finishes with a soothing well-being massage.

In the Ceremony of the Strawberry Moon couples enjoy a massage lesson and Exotic Jasmine Flower Bath while being pampered with champagne and chocolate covered strawberries. In addition two spacious couples’ suites, Father Sky and Mother Earth, are equipped with massage tables, Jacuzzi slipper bath, sensory dry float bed and shower.

Among the seven different facial treatments and eight types of massage rituals, The Trail of Life Ritual offers an Elemis facial with eye zone treatment and collagen or sulphur compress, jasmine flower bath, pedicure, manicure, frangipani hair and scalp ritual and styling, along with a choice of either reflexology or full body massage.

Separate facilities for men and women, house a private steam room, sauna, Jacuzzi and relaxation room.  The Great Desert Retreat and Great Fresh Water Retreat are among 26 private treatment rooms named for the moons that mark the Tribe’s seasonal changes. An indoor pool and fitness center allow guests to enjoy the spa in all seasons.

For spa reservations outside the hotel call 860 862-4520 or visit

Buffalo Thunder Resort and Casino – New Mexico

At the Pueblo of the Pojoaque Reservation surrounded dramatically by the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of New Mexico, you will discover the Buffalo Thunder Resort and Casino with its exquisite Wo’ Po’ in Spa.  A mere 15 miles from Santa Fe’s historic plaza and set in the Rio Grande Valley, this splendid resort is also an art-centric destination. Throughout the water-themed property and in the spa itself are original works by well-known Pueblo artists and weavers.  A stunning bronze warrior by iconic artist and sculptor, George Rivera, the tribe’s governor, greets you as you arrive at the porte-cochère.

The full-service spa and beauty salon is a serene escape designed to revitalize and renew the body, mind and spirit within 16,000 square feet of sublime sanctuary.  The bright colors and geometric motifs of Native American blankets used in the spa punctuate the soft desert-hued interiors. Featuring thirteen private treatment rooms and a dedicated couples room, the spa employs its signature fragrances and skin care line both of which use indigenous flora. Treatments here are geared to reflect indigenous healing elements of the Pueblo heritage and Pojoaque philosophy that consider the experience a journey, or “poeh” meaning pathway, through past, present and future.

In the Red Earth Cocoon Wrap toxins are cleansed from the system with the application of red mud.  Afterwards a native essence lotion, scented with copal, cedar, lavender and citrus essential oils is applied to hydrate the skin.

The Pueblo people believe that stones from the earth carry the spirit of their ancestors, and the spa’s Flowing Spirit Hot Stone Massage, popular with the resort’s golfers and hikers, follows that ancient tradition with the use of warm desert stones combined with native plant oils for balance and purification.  Reflecting the same attention to sourcing local products, their Flowing River Pedicure employs a seasonal blend of indigenous salts before applying white clay and essential oils with a warm stone massage.

In the Sacred Earth Cocoon Wrap, a massage is followed by a warm mud application infused with birch, vetiver and juniper oils and culminates in a complete body hydration procedure.  Here, wraps such as the Aloe Vera Body Wrap, can be followed by a Vichy shower for the ultimate in bliss.  Afterwards don a plush terry robe and relax on a lounge among the water-spouting columns beside the indoor pool.

New for fall, the Turbinado Pomegranate Sugar Scrub ends with a luxurious shea butter goat’s milk hydration massage.

For spa reservations outside the hotel call 505 819-2140 or visit

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