The Lodge at Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York has all of the ingredients for a perfect getaway; a stunning 95-room, all-suite luxury boutique hotel, Wildflowers, their AAA-rated four diamond restaurant where Chef Dustin Tuthill brings an innovative focus, full service Skaná Spa, and adjacent PGA championship golf course, Shenendoah Golf Club at Turning Stone. With new programs of Afternoon Tea and Wine & Cheese Pairings in the evening, you may be tempted to never venture further than The Lodge, although a destination resort casino waits should you wish to explore.
Owned by the Oneida Indian Nation, The Lodge at Turning Stone opened in 2004 and incorporates the culture and artistry of the craftsman throughout the attractive hotel. Exquisitely wrought quilts and museum-quality artifacts including beautiful Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) moccasins circa 1850 - 1900 embellished with tiny glass beads grace the walls and visually attract the eye, and a brilliantly colored woven rug hangs on the façade of the rough stone fireplace. The lobby is inviting with creamy leather chaises positioned in front of soaring windows that overlook the gardens that allow guests the opportunity to enjoy nature in all weather conditions.
The Lodge at Turning Stone
We stayed at The Lodge in October 2014 and were impressed with the attention to the small details that help define a memorable stay from the gracious hospitality upon check-in with the offering of a beverage and sweets, to the sumptuously appointed spacious suites.
Our two-room suite consisted of a separate living room and a bedroom. The living room had a sofa, chair, coffee table laden with a selection of magazines and books, an end table, ottoman, and a large flatscreen television. There was a French door in the living room leading to a long balcony running length of the suite with two chairs where guests could relax and enjoy the beauty of the gardens and nature.
The bedroom featured a king bed dressed with a white duvet, Euro shams, a selection of pillows, white-on-white striped linens, a decorative pillow, and a soft throw at the end of the bed. Wall sconces, reading lights, and glass-topped nightstands flanked the bed, paintings graced the walls, there was a comfortable chair in one corner of the room with a matching ottoman, and a large chest of drawers in another corner with a large flatscreen television. The wall of windows was dressed with sheer window treatments as well as blackout curtains to ensure a tranquil sleep.
There was a mini-bar in the foyer, and a combination desk and vanity table with chair and large mirror, which held a coffee/tea maker and a selection of coffees and teas located off the bedroom and opposite the closets. The marble bathroom had a glass shower with a pull-down double showerhead as well as a hand-held showerhead and a foot rest, a deep soaking tub, lighted vanity mirror, toilet, and vanity with art sink. Thoughtful amenities included plush robes and slippers, a selection of Lather toiletries, a safe, complimentary shoe service, iron and ironing board, complimentary WiFi Internet access, and complimentary newspapers delivered to the room daily.
Desk and Vanity Table
Bedtime was extra special at The Lodge with their inviting sleep pillow menu in addition to the plethora of pillows already on the bed. We felt like Goldilocks selecting pillows from their diverse menu of goose down, hypo-allergenic, buckwheat, memory foam, water pillow, and knee pillows. Turndown service was also special; when we returned to our suite one evening we found soft music playing from the combination CD player/radio, and a beautiful dream catcher and its legend placed on the end of our bed, and on another evening we found small sweets for us to have sweet dreams.
Our day began with healthy breakfasts at Wildflowers where Chef Dustin sent us lovely mini smoothies and miniature scones to waken our palates before we indulged in yogurt parfaits and blueberry buttermilk pancakes.
During our stay at the hotel we had an excellent dinner at Wildflowers where a few of the many highlights we enjoyed included Kobe Short Rib Zabuton served with parsley root puree, brussel sprouts, imperial stout crunch, garlic roots, and natural jus, Oysters on the Half Shell with Granny Smith apple consommé, yuzu, cucumber, and vanilla bean, Caesar Salad with tableside preparation, Smoked Salmon "Potato Salad" with caviar, celery ribbons, baby fennel, horseradish crème fraiche, red onion, and dill, pork with spinach and duxelle wrapped in puff pastry, Lobster Risotto, and Chocolate Ganache, flexible chocolate, black current gelato, chocolate glass, black current foam and current gel.
Pork with Spinach and Duxelle in Puff Pastry
We also enjoyed The Lodge's Afternoon Tea program offered daily from 1:00 pm until 3:00 pm, with advance reservations. There is something about the elegance of the ritual of Afternoon Tea that is so appealing, and Afternoon Tea at The Lodge began with a presentation of loose teas where we had the opportunity to experience the various aromas and learn about the nuances of Earl Gray, Gunpowder Green, Cranberry, Chamomile, Decaffeinated Cinnamon Spice, and Decaffeinated Earl Gray, before making our selection.
Debra enjoying Afternoon Tea
Comfortably seated on a leather sofa and a chair flanking a coffee table set with a traditional three-tier server, we began by sampling the cranberry scones accompanied by housemade berry compote and clotted cream.
Afternoon Tea Treats
The second tier held beautifully presented sandwiches made with cucumber and herb, tomato compote and cheddar cheese, chicken with cranberry, sliced pear, prosciutto and fig preserves, and crab and avocado. The third tier held decadent desserts of macaroons drizzled with chocolate, orange tarts garnished with blackberries, and luscious chocolate ganache miniature cakes decorated with hazelnuts.
The Lodge also has a Wine & Cheese Pairing in the evening where guests have the opportunity to learn about and taste 3 New York State wines and 3 local New York State cheeses. We sampled Lamoreaux Landing Seneca Lake Cabernet Franc, Keuka Lake Salmon Run Riesling, and Wagner Vidal Ice Wine to pair with a delectable 16 year old aged Jewett's Cheddar, Blue Cheese, and Camembert accompanied by grilled baguette and housemade berry compote.
Debra and Edward Enjoying Wine & Cheese Pairing
Over the course of the weekend we had indulgent and pampering Spa treatments at the attractive 33,000 square foot destination Skaná Spa, which is connected to The Lodge. Skaná opened in 2006 and has 12 treatment rooms, VIP Suite, full-service salon, therapeutic mineral pool, full locker room facilities with quiet room, including separate sauna, steam rooms, and whirlpools for men and women. The name Skaná is from the Oneida word for "peace" and the décor incorporates American Indian design influences, with an emphasis on the Oneida's belief in the balance of good health, harmony with nature, and tranquility within.
Exercise buffs will also appreciate the Skaná and Lodge Fitness Center with state-of-the-art StarTracTM cardio and strength equipment, swimming pool, and complete menu of indoor and outdoor fitness activities.
Located adjacent to the hotel is the 18-hole PGA championship golf course, Shenendoah Golf Club at Turning Stone designed by Rick Smith and constructed and maintained to TOUR standards at more than 7,000 yards, which opened in 2000.
Edward playing Shenendoah Golf Course
In 2006, Shenendoah hosted the PGA National Club Professional Championship, and it has earned numerous awards and accolades including: 2013 Golf America - Top 50 Courses for Women, 2012 Golf Magazine - Best Casino Courses, 2012 Golf Magazine - Top 100 Courses You Can Play, 2011 Golfweek - Best Courses You Can Play in New York State, 2010 Golf Magazine - Best Public Golf Courses In New York State, 2010 Golfweek - Top 100 Best Resort Courses, and 2010 Golf.com - Premier Resorts 2010: Best in Your Area, to name but a few.
Debra enjoying Shenendoah Golf Course
Taking advantage of the beautiful weather, we played a round of golf at the immaculate Shenendoah Golf Club with its rolling greens and stunning vistas framed on either side of the course by a stand of trees wearing their most brilliant autumn colors of gold, red, orange, and rust.
Shenendoah Golf Course
After our round of golf and lunch at the Clubhouse at Shenendoah, we visited the Golf Dome, which opened in 2005, has 40 hitting stations, 2 simulators, a short game practice area, and Golf Superstore at Turning Stone that opened in 2012 and has a diverse selection of golf equipment, apparel and accessories for adults as well as junior golfers.
Debra in front of golf photo in Golf Dome
We did venture out of the immediate area of The Lodge one evening to go to the connecting resort where we had an excellent dinner at TS Steakhouse located atop of The Tower, where panoramic penthouse views complemented Chef de Cuisine Steve Batur's delectable steakhouse fare.
A few of the many highlights of our dinner at TS Steakhouse included starters of Roasted Beet & Goat Cheese with baby greens, Chioggia, red, and golden beets, and Utica honey, which celebrated local products, Pan Seared Foie Gras with dried cherry compote, winter spiced brioche, and almond dust, Kansas City 20-ounce prime dry aged strip steak with roasted garlic and bone marrow on the plate and accompanied by sides of jalapeno creamed corn and truffle fries, Lobster roasted in parchment with vegetables and herbs, Pecan Phylo Purse with maple brown butter custard, toasted pecans, and ultra-decadent Chocolate Banana Tart.
Kansas City Strip Steak
Jalapeno Creamed Corn, Truffle Fries, Baked Potato
Whether you are looking for a romantic and luxurious getaway weekend, a golf weekend, or a spa weekend, The Lodge has it all. For those who desire even more to explore, Turning Stone Resort Casino also has world class entertainment and a casino.
Winter guests who want to cross-country ski may do so on property, and downhill skiers and snowboarders who want a luxurious "base" will appreciate The Lodge's proximity to Woods Valley Ski Area in Rome, New York (17 miles), and Snow Ridge Ski Resort in Turin, New York (41 miles).
The Lodge at Turning Stone Resort Casino is conveniently located in Central New York 23 miles from Utica, 35 miles from Syracuse Hancock International Airport, 112 miles from Albany, 115 miles from Rochester, 177 miles from Buffalo, 259 miles from New York City, 280 miles from Boston, Massachusetts, and 286 miles from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Read more about our experience dining experience at Wildflowers and TS Steakhouse in the Restaurants section, about our experience at Skaná Spa in the Spas section, and about our golf experience at Shenendoah Golf Club at Turning Stone in the Adventures section.
Read Chefs Recipes section for interviews and recipes from Chef Dustin Tuthill of Wildflowers and Chef Steve Batur of TS Steakhouse at Turning Stone.
The Lodge at Turning Stone Resort Casino
5218 Patrick Road
Verona, New York 13478
Follow Luxury Experience on Facebook: www.Facebook.com/LuxuryExperience
© December 2014. Luxury Experience. www.LuxuryExperience.com All rights reserved.