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10 Resorts, Spas and Conference Centers With It All: 2016 Hot List

If you can’t find a room you like on these properties, you’re doing something wrong. Presenting ICTMN’s 2016 Hot List.

A room of one’s own is important for an aspiring writer, or for your next convention, golf weekend or romantic anniversary getaway. If you can’t find a room you like on these properties, you’re doing something wrong.

Courtesy House Committee on Natural Resources

Victoria Kitcheyan, treasurer of the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska, talks about conditions at the Winnebago Hospital.

Rooms Fit For Gods

Relax in style at Buffalo Thunder Resort & Casino. Each of this property’s 393 rooms and suites is designed in Native décor and the colors of the desert Southwest lurk just outside the window. Located in the Pueblo of Pojoaque just north of Santa Fe, New Mexico, and nestled in the shadows of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Buffalo Thunder offers 70,000-square-feet of gaming, including 1,200 slot machines, poker room, race book, high-limit slots and the largest table games pit in northern New Mexico. But this luxurious resort also offers all the amenities of a resort, including a pool and cabana, three golf courses, a world-class spa, shopping, wine tasting and fine dining.

Courtesy House Committee on Natural Resources

Victoria Kitcheyan, treasurer of the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska, talks about conditions at the Winnebago Hospital.

No Gathering Too Small or Too Large

Whether you’re looking to book a venue for a wedding or a trade show, an intimate family gathering or a huge corporate convention, Potawatomi Hotel & Casino has events covered. With 60,000 feet of meeting space, this hotel and casino boasts one of the biggest venues in Milwaukee and has become one of the premier meeting destinations in the Midwest. Its staff caters to groups of 10 to 3,000 people in ballrooms, meeting rooms and banquet halls located in this luxurious events center in the heart of Milwaukee.

Courtesy House Committee on Natural Resources

Victoria Kitcheyan, treasurer of the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska, talks about conditions at the Winnebago Hospital.

Rock Out With a Few Friends

Known as south Florida’s premier entertainment destination, Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino hosts big names in its 5,500-seat Hard Rock Live concert arena, which promises authentic and intimate experiences with performers. From classic rockers to side-splitting comedians, Hard Rock Live in Hollywood, Florida offers year-round entertainment options. It also boasts more than 100 table games, 2,000 of the most popular slot machines and a stand-alone poker room in its 140,000-square foot casino.

Courtesy House Committee on Natural Resources

Victoria Kitcheyan, treasurer of the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska, talks about conditions at the Winnebago Hospital.

Relaxation At Its Finest

Turn back time at The Spa at Talking Stick, a full-service luxury spa at Talking Stick Resort Casino. This 13,000-square-foot, open-air spa is located on the resort’s 14th floor and boasts world-class rejuvenation treatments, including private rooms that offer guests unparalleled views of the valley below and floor-to-ceiling windows that can be opened during treatments. Owned by the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community in Scottsdale, Arizona, the spa features treatments inspired by culturally significant ingredients. Available treatments include facials, body therapies and polishing, tanning, manicures and pedicures, massage, cranial sacral therapy, reflexology and Reiki. The Spa also includes a relaxation and serenity lounge, a spacious steam room and fully equipped fitness center.

Courtesy House Committee on Natural Resources

Victoria Kitcheyan, treasurer of the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska, talks about conditions at the Winnebago Hospital.

Gaming Done Right

For one of the best overall gaming and resort experiences anywhere, try Agua Caliente Casino, a sophisticated casino located nine miles from Palm Springs, California. Owned by the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, this casino boasts a 45,000-square-foot gambling floor, as well as a 16-story hotel tower. Called a slot player’s dream, Agua Caliente offers 1,300 slot machines, including 750 penny slots. It also offers 36 table games, a poker room and a high-limit room. The Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians also owns the nearby concert theater called The Show, which features big names in entertainment. When you’re not trying your luck on the gaming floor, check out the world-famous Indian Canyons and Tahquitz Canyon hiking trails, or the Indian Canyons Golf Resort.

Courtesy House Committee on Natural Resources

Victoria Kitcheyan, treasurer of the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska, talks about conditions at the Winnebago Hospital.

In a League Of Its Own

For visitors looking for a luxurious casino experience, Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula, California offers more than 200,000 square feet of gaming, including 3,400 slots, 130 table games, a 700-seat bingo room, a 43-table poker room and lavish high-limit amenities. California’s biggest casino, Pechanga was built to reflect the history of the Pechanga and Luiseño people of California, who once played a game with sticks and bones called Téeponish. “At night many visitors notice the horizontal, glimmering lights at both ends of the hotel and casino buildings,” said Andrew Rodrigues, principal at Delawie Architecture. “These hearken back to the game.”

Pechanga has earned accolades from guests, who recognized it as having the best table game tournaments, best video poker and best casino resort in the Casino Player Magazine’s annual “Best of Gaming” poll.

Courtesy House Committee on Natural Resources

Victoria Kitcheyan, treasurer of the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska, talks about conditions at the Winnebago Hospital.

The Adventure Is Outside

There’s always something to do at Inn of the Mountain Gods, a 273-room luxury hotel, casino and resort owned by the Mescalero Apache Tribe. A 38,000-square-foot casino draws gamers to this premier mountain resort, but most of the available activities are outdoors. High in the mountains of Mescalero, New Mexico, this resort boasts clean air, stunning panoramic views and some of the best outdoor sports around, including golf, mountain biking, horseback riding, fishing, hunting, skiing and snowboarding.

The country’s southernmost ski area, Ski Apache, offers the best warm-weather powder skiing in the world with 55 runs served by 11 lifts and New Mexico’s only eight-passenger Gondola. For an alternative to skiing, try the ZipTour at Ski Apache, a three-part zipline tour that starts at 11,500 feet. Riders glide down the mountain at speeds reaching 65 mph and experience the most spectacular view in southern New Mexico.

Inn of the Mountain Gods is on the shores of Lake Mescalero, which is stocked annually with 20,000 trout. Guests can fish on this pristine lake from dusk until dawn. If you prefer hunting, try Mescalero Big Game Hunt and experience hunting among the peaks of the Southern Rocky Mountains as you track elk, bear and wild birds. If golf is your thing, try the Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort Championship Golf Course, which features an island fairway and fast-breaking greens. The course ranked No. 23 in Golf Digest’s “Top 40 Casino Golf Courses.”

Courtesy House Committee on Natural Resources

Victoria Kitcheyan, treasurer of the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska, talks about conditions at the Winnebago Hospital.

A Hotel of Grand Stature

The Grand Casino Mille Lacs is advertised as the most-liked hotel in Minnesota. One of two gaming facilities owned by the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, the hotel and casino are built on the west shore of Mille Lacs Lake in Central Minnesota. The venue is situated on a north-south axis. The building’s front faces east, observing the sun as it rises over the trees and lake, said Mike Nickaboine, vice president of facilities. “As the sun sets in the west at the back elevation of the complex, beautiful scenes emerge as the sun settles below the oaks,” he said.

The property, designed to reflect nature, also includes décor that mimics traditional Ojibwe dance regalia and architectural features that represent the “curve and meander” of water flowing in a river, Nickaboine said. With 494 rooms, the Grand Casino Mille Lacs is the largest casino hotel resort in Lake Country. It also offers four restaurants, an oversized swimming pool and retail shopping outlets.

Courtesy House Committee on Natural Resources

Victoria Kitcheyan, treasurer of the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska, talks about conditions at the Winnebago Hospital.

Living in the Panoramic

Every room at Suquamish Clearwater Casino Resort has a view worth seeing. Guest rooms, dining areas and even the swimming pool are flanked by huge glass windows to show off stunning views of Puget Sound in Suquamish, Washington, the surrounding evergreens and the sapphire blues of the ocean. On the seventh floor of this 185-room hotel is a luxurious suite built for viewing eagles, said Rich Purser, general manager. Called the Eagle’s View Suite, the room allows visitors an unforgettable viewing experience as they relax in the natural beauty of the Northwest.

The entire property is designed to look like a forest lodge. Outdoor terraces, amphitheaters and fire pits also bring visitors close to nature. “The whole thing is built to maximize the view,” Purser said. “People come for the casino, but every time they turn a corner they see the view.”

Courtesy House Committee on Natural Resources

Victoria Kitcheyan, treasurer of the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska, talks about conditions at the Winnebago Hospital.

A Lavish Retreat in New York

Ska:ná is the Oneida word for peace. That tidbit will come in handy when you book accommodations at Turning Stone Resort Spa, because you’ll be signing up for a tranquil getaway. Owned by the Oneida Indian Nation, owners of Oneida Nation Enterprises, parent company of Indian Country Today Media Network, and located in the heart of central New York, this 3,400-acre resort offers three ways to stay: a high-rise hotel, a casual inn and a lodge. The Lodge pampers guests in private, sumptuous suites within a rustic hideaway. Suites are available in four sizes, from the 550-square-foot Lodge Suite to the elegant, two-story, 2,900-square-foot Presidential Suite. At the 33,000-square-foot Ska:ná Spa, guests can lose their stress and worry in treatments based on the Oneida belief in the balance of good health, harmony with nature and tranquility within. The spa includes 12 treatment rooms, a VIP suite, full-service salon, therapeutic mineral pool, a quiet room, sauna, steam rooms and whirlpool.

Turning Stone Resort Spa hosts 4.5 million guests per year and is one of the top five tourist destinations in New York State. Amenities also include world-class golf, gaming, entertainment and dining.

This article appeared in the Indian Country Today Media Network 2016 Hot List Magazine.