Turning Stones Neci Ward Named a Finalist in Forbes Travel Guides 2021 Spa Employee of the Year Award
Along with only four other spa employees in the world, Skana: Spa Attendant Denise (Neci) Ward was named a finalist for Forbes Travel Guide’s 2021 Spa Employee of the Year Award. In addition to its annual list of Star-Awarded properties, Forbes Travel Guide unveiled these special awards that commend individual hospitality employees and celebrate exemplary team members who stand out in their guest service.
Oneida Indian Nation Homelands (March 2, 2021) — As part of its prestigious 2021 Star Awards, Forbes Travel Guide, the only global rating system for luxury hotels, restaurants and spas, announced Denise (Neci) Ward from Turning Stone’s Skana: Spa was named a finalist for the 2021 Spa Employee of the Year Award, joining only four other spa employees in the world to receive this recognition.
Forbes Travel Guide is the world-renowned authority in genuine Five- and Four-Star service. In addition to its annual list of Star-Awarded properties, Forbes Travel Guide unveiled special awards that commend individual hospitality employees. The second annual Employee of the Year awards celebrate the exemplary team members who stand out in their service of guests and co-workers, and to honor those who shined all the more during the pandemic.
An essential part of the award-winning experience at Skana:, Ward joined Turning Stone as a spa attendant when it first opened in 2006, continuously receiving high-praise from guests, supervisors and co-workers. She has been instrumental in Skana: earning the Forbes Four-Star award for the last five years, the only spa in New York, outside of New York City, to earn this distinction.
“I have worked with many different individuals in the spa industry throughout my career, and Neci stands out among them all – she personifies the spa experience,” said Shane Bird, Director of Spa Operations at Turning Stone. “We are extremely proud that Forbes Travel Guide has recognized Neci for her dedication to our guests at Skana: and for her leadership with our Team Members.”
Despite facing numerous challenges this year, Forbes Travel Guide commends the hospitality industry for being innovative and demonstrating resilience.
“During a most challenging year for the hospitality industry, these individuals not only persevered, they made a significant impact on guests and their fellow colleagues,” says Filip Boyen, CEO of Forbes Travel Guide. “Each of these winners are examples of the resiliency, ingenuity and graciousness of our community. They are an inspiration to us all.”
In addition to recognizing Ward as a Spa Employee of the Year Finalist, Forbes Travel Guide also recently celebrated Turning Stone as the only resort in New York to earn four Forbes Four-Star Awards and named it among the first resorts in the world to earn Forbes’ new VERIFIED safety certification. The Forbes Travel Guide VERIFIED status is based on the resort’s compliance with expert-validated best practices that minimize the risk and impact of COVID-19 and potential future public health events. With only about 160 hotels in the United States to earn this distinction, Turning Stone is in elite company with other luxury resorts including The Ritz Carlton, Waldorf Astoria and The St. Regis.