The Artesian Hotel, Casino and Spa Offers Something for Everyone
They call it Adventure Road: 130 acres of Oklahoma highway spanning the Red River to Oklahoma City. Responding to its siren call, my niece Lindsey Davies (also our photographer), her husband, Evan, my sister Lori Hanna, and I set out early one June morning, headed south toward Sulphur.
With several hours to go before our 3 p.m. check-in at The Artesian Hotel, Casino and Spa and a same-time appointment at its Sole’renity Spa, we took our time, taking detours for lunch, a picnic and swim at ice-cold Little Niagara.
We arrived a half-hour early at The Artesian, which in addition to being a high-end hotel and spa, also features a casino, but the friendly staff allowed us to check in early, and after a quick look around our spacious rooms, my niece and I were off to the spa while my sister and nephew-in-law did some exploring.
We completed a short questionnaire before proceeding with our full-body massages and sugar scrub, then were shown to a nicely appointed area with lockers, showers, changing rooms and eucalyptus steam sauna and provided with white Egyptian cotton bath robes and sandals. After a brief session in the steamy sauna to loosen our muscles, we sipped on cucumber water and awaited our estheticians in the comfortable waiting room. Our stay there was short, and my niece and I went our separate ways.
I was shown to a small room made welcoming with dim lighting and the soothing sounds of a Native American flutist. The spa bed was heated (ahhh) and adjustable to meet each customer’s needs. My esthetician, Misty, then proceeded, limb by limb and finally to my back and neck areas, to deftly smooth away the kinks I’d developed from the car ride and too many hours typing on my laptop. She ended the session all too soon with a mango sugar scrub.
We finished our spa visit with a few more minutes in the sauna, followed by a shower. Everything necessary was provided, from the towels and robe to shampoo and conditioner to deodorants and disposable razors.
Rhonda Mordecai, Sole’renity Spa at The Artesian owner and director, pointed out that massages and sugar scrubs are only two of the therapeutic and wellness treatments available to “renew, replenish and revitalize Mind, Body and Soul,” including hot stone massages, manicures and pedicures, aromatherapy mud foot soaks, facials, and several anti-aging facial treatments. Women, men, children and even couples packages are available. For details, visit solerenityspa.com.
Though we didn’t get a chance to swim in either the crystal-clear indoor or outdoor pools located at the hotel, Lindsey and Evan did enjoy some time in the hot tub, pronouncing the experience relaxing and enjoyable. A full-service fitness center also is on-site.
Unfortunately, our schedules permitted only one night at The Artesian, and we wanted to spend as much time as possible exploring Sulphur and Chickasaw National Recreation Area (conveniently located a stone’s throw away), but visitors will want to visit one or all three of the restaurants located in the hotel as well as the Shops at the Artesian, featuring everything from teas and spices to unique gifts.
Thanks to a relatively rainy spring this year and last, the Chickasaw National Recreation Area, the state’s only true national park, was even more beautiful than I remembered it from years past. We enjoyed a short hike to a high scenic overlook and a drive around pristine Veterans Lake.
All too soon, it was time to head back to Norman. After a too brief visit to the Chickasaw Cultural Center, we enjoyed lunch at Smokin’ Joe’s Rib Ranch in Davis (where the portions of barbecue meats served were of epic proportions), and then by Bedré Fine Chocolate, also in Davis, a 34,000-square-foot facility that includes a retail shop and production area where the chocolate is made. After sampling several types of chocolate goodies and making our purchases, we headed home (with one stop to a fruit stand), our taste buds happy from the chocolate, our minds stimulated by the sights and sounds and experiences, and our bodies tired but feeling great from our massages and activities.
If you haven’t yet made the sojourn to The Artesian and all that area has to offer, I highly recommend it.