Elyssa Lekki serves as spa supervisor at our Skana Spa, which was just voted No. 1 Best Spa in Casino Player Magazine’s annual “Best of Gaming” awards. But as recently as three years ago, she managed a vastly different clientele: She was a preschool teacher in Whitesboro.
The decision to switch careers didn’t come easily. Elyssa loved her students and the families she worked with during her years as a teacher. After seven years in the classroom, she simply wanted a change.
So she came to Oneida Nation Enterprises and applied for an entry-level receptionist position. Management saw her talent immediately and offered her a role as lead receptionist—a role that wasn’t even advertised at the time. Two years later, she was promoted to supervisor, where she has excelled ever since.
Most of her job revolves around people—either interacting with guests or training team members on new processes.
Luckily for Elyssa, she also gets first dibs as a practice client when therapists are learning new treatments.
She said she was never much of a spa person before this job, but certainly now appreciates the benefits of self-care.
“Being a guinea pig for our therapists is one of the best perks of this job,” Elyssa joked. “I know our therapists are talented, and it’s nice to experience just how talented they are by laying on the table myself.”
The Oriskany native said she takes pride in the high standard of service and noted that connecting it to the culture of the Oneida Indian Nation only makes the Skana experience more special.
“Everything we do, from the decorations to the treatments to the products we use, is reflective of the Oneida Indian Nation culture,” she said. “It’s all incredibly educational, not just for our guests but also for those of us who work here and are always eager and willing to learn more.”
Her insider tip? Book spa treatments in the morning, since guests can check in up to an hour before services and get to take advantage of Skana amenities all day long. Elyssa added that ordering lunch at the Spa Café is always a nice treat because the food is prepared by the chefs at Wildflowers restaurant inside The Lodge, another Forbes Four-Star rated venue at the resort.