By Charlene Oldham. Photography courtesy of TreyClark and the Spa at Horseshoe
After a typical massage, Lisa Konupka is usually ready for a nap. So the social media manager had her doubts when others told her getting a rub down in the exclusive amber and quartz crystal bed at the recently-opened Spa at Horseshoe in Tunica can have the opposite effect, all while providing the deep sense of relaxation that comes with a stress-reducing spa stay.
“I’m spoiled now that I’ve used the quartz bed. I don’t think I could ever go to another massage,” said Konupka who, in addition to her social media duties also plans meetings and oversees the website for Tunica’s Convention and Visitors Bureau. “It really did give me energy. I know that sounds weird, but I felt so energized and ready to go afterward.”
Given her role in the travel and tourism industry, Konupka has been to her share of spas. But she sees herself revisiting the Spa at Horseshoe — which is in the casino complex’s hotel — often, either solo or with a few friends, as a retreat right there in town.
“It is a different level of spa experience. It’s a step above anything I’ve ever been to,” said Konupka, who likened the amber and quartz bed to being surrounded by a warm, rounded pebbles of a beach during a massage. “They go above and beyond to make you feel relaxed and taken care of while you’re there. I think that’s what makes it so special.”
The spa’s amber and quartz crystal bed and its use of Elemis products, technology and extensive training protocols also set it apart, according to Kay Lasic, regional director of spa operations for Steiner Leisure Limited, whose products include the Elemis brand. Elemis, based in London, offers facial and body spa therapies on more than 100 cruise line spas and many other land-based locations around the world. Although it already has a couple of other spas in Mississippi, the Horseshoe hosts one of only two amber and quartz crystal beds. The other is in the House of Elemis spa in London’s Mayfair area.
“We wanted something that was exclusive, that you couldn’t get anywhere else in the region, which is why we went with the quartz and amber bed,” she said. “There are quartz beds in the major cities — New York, Miami, Los Angeles. We wanted something unique, so we combined the properties of amber with the quartz.”
Lasic, who helped develop the Tunica menu of facials, massages and other spa services, spent a lot of time researching the other spas in the area and examining the likely demographic mix of the new location’s guests to ensure the Horseshoe proved a perfect fit.
“We knew exactly what the gaps in the market were, what was missing at our spa competitors there and hopefully we’ve brought all those added features to the Horseshoe,” she said. “We really put a lot of effort into it to make sure they have something for all audiences and something unique to the region that people can’t get anywhere else. They have it in this beautiful gem of a spa right there in Tunica.”
Since its grand opening in January 2017, the spa has also been adding packages geared toward brides and grooms, wedding party VIPs including the maid of honor or mother of the bride, bachelorette parties, or even a guy’s or girl’s getaway, with additional options being added as the weather warms up and guests establish their favorite features, Lasic said.
“They can either have spa services done inside the spa or they can have them done in a hotel suite. Or they are doing poolside events where you can do massages or you can have your bridal party get services poolside. They’ve got private cabanas guests can go in and get massages there also,” she said. “It’s not being done anywhere in that market.”
The overall goal is to give guests their ideal environment for relaxation and rejuvenation, said Sindy Davis Helton, advertising specialist for Caesars Entertainment, which operates the Horseshoe Tunica Hotel and Casino. For example, customers who don’t want to mix the sights and sounds of the casino with their serene spa stay don’t have to go anywhere near the gaming floor. And the men’s and ladies’ lounges and treatment areas are generally separate, which adds to most guest’s comfort level.
“But we don’t have an issue setting up a room where we can do couples massage and we can also have room service serve lunch,” said Helton, who recommends those who plan to visit over a weekend call a couple weeks in advance to book spa services so they’ll get exactly the time slot and treatments they want. “We will cater to what you need.”
She said the spa has been drawing a mix of gamers, hotel guests and locals since it opened, adding that DeSoto and Tunica County residents and casino employees receive a 10 percent discount on any service. There are also other rotating specials, some of which will offer mid-week discounts to help encourage anytime getaways for tourists and locals alike.
“I think what guests will find is that it is very relaxed. Guests are treated like they would be in someone’s home. They’re welcomed,” she said “But, even though it is in the South and you get a southern, down-home feeling, I think it will rival any spa on any cruise ship or in any of our bigger cities. While it is down home, it’s also very upscale.”
For more information, visit caesars.com/horseshoe-tunica.