by Shannon Traphagen

Imagine being transported to Polynesia in the time it takes to get to The Spa at Seneca Niagara Resort and Casino or the Spa at Seneca Allegany Resort and Casino, and depending upon where you are coming from in Western New York, it won’t take very long.

I visited Seneca Niagara for my Polynesian Spa experience. The palm-fringed coral reef and crystal clear water immediately transformed my mind, body, and spirit to another dimension. The Spa and salon manager Lisa Poole says, “Whether guests come from California or Buffalo, our goal is to have everyone feel like they are on vacation – even if it’s only for a day. All of our guests feel pampered and elegant—including men, who make up a quarter of our customers.”

People who come to The Spa choose from a wide array of services including, hair and nails, facials, massages, acupuncture, and luxurious body treatments. One of the most popular services—the Polynesian Spa Ritual was pretty amazing. This unique massage begins with a gentle vanilla-scented full-body scrub, blended with white Bora Bora sands, sea salt, and microscopic coconut shells. The cooling water pillow placed under my head to help reduce inflammation, the soothing sound of water, and rhythmic motion of the massage was pure heaven.

According to esthetician MaryAnn, the massage I received is called Lomi-Lomi, meaning “knead gently.” Warm sand pouches, filled with the silky sands of the Polynesian Islands, are lightly tapped up and down the body to help loosen muscles and nourish skin. The treatment also included a 15-minute European shower, in which multiple shower heads feel like a million little fingers massaging the skin. The treatment concluded with another massage of organic Polynesian essential oils that left my skin glowing, and feeling silky soft.

The Spa uses all-natural products, including Eve Taylor London aromatherapy skincare oils, and staff are trained by Eve Taylor directly. “We’re one of only a few in the region that use these products,” said Maryann. “Our estheticians are experts, and create a custom facial for each skin type,” adds Lisa. Other products, which come from France, include an environmentally-friendly beauty line that supports the Marine Conservation Society.

But the pampering doesn’t end there. Spa visitors can take advantage of a suite where they can sit and relax in front of a fireplace, receive treatments, and soak in a Jacuzzi tub. Guests can also saunter over to the men’s or women’s locker room to relax using steam, sauna, and whirlpool. “Many guests come out for a day experience. If you choose a girl’s getaway, you can stay overnight, or leave your belongings in secure lockers and enjoy the spa and resort for the day,” says Lisa. For Mother’s Day, both Seneca Niagara Resort and Casino, and the Seneca Allegany Resort and Casino are offering a Queen for the Day spa package. This package includes a 50-minute Swedish body massage, customized facial, eye and lip treatment, and full body salt glow.

“Our spas offer some of the best treatments around, and Mother’s love the pampering,” says Maryann. And, if you are a coffee lover like I am, the Seneca Niagara Resort spa has a wonderful green coffee body wrap. This wrap helps reduce the appearance of cellulite, and stimulating the drainage of fat lipids, all while toning and hydrating the skin for a radiant glow.

Veteran nail technician, Maxine said, “I love this team, and I love what I do. Eleven years here, and I can’t imagine doing anything else anywhere else.”

You can visit the Seneca Niagara Resort and Casino in Niagara Falls or the Seneca Allegany Resort and Casino in Allegany. See,, and to learn more, or call 1-877-8-SENECA.