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Upscale spa will give downtown a dose of fancy

Yakama WA Day Spa / Ummelina Yakima Spa Retreat

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Nina Ummel, chief visionary officer of Ummelina, an upscale Seattle spa expanding to downtown Yakima, admires a table and sink in the entry of the new spa location on Friday. The sink and table were made from ancient Chinese stone. Ummelina will open its new spa next to the Hilton Garden Inn next week.


Even through the construction crews and paint tape, it’s easy to see that Ummelina Yakima Spa Retreat will be a new experience for the Yakima Valley.


Outside stand large, heavy pots filled with plants from around the world that decorate the spa’s “Temple Garden.” Inside the retail area is a table and sink made from ancient Chinese stone. In the rooms, there are a variety of water fixtures such as a Japanese-style soaking tub.


The Seattle upscale spa will open its second location next week at 399 E. Yakima Ave., adjacent to the Hilton Garden Inn. The spa’s retail store, Global Remedies, opens Monday and will sell the company’s line of skin and body care products. Patrons also will be able to order gift certificates and book appointments.


The full-service spa will open the day after Thanksgiving.


“We’re anticipating (customers’) arrival and we know we have something very special for them,” said Nina Ummel, the company’s founder and chief visionary officer.


Ummel opened Ummelina in downtown Seattle about 20 years ago, when the area was struggling to gain foot traffic. Ummel and her partner, Meghann Lawrence, a 1996 Naches Valley High School graduate, were drawn to Yakima by revitalization efforts in the downtown core.


For people in Yakima, it’s an overdue amenity.


“It’s nice to have spa services done in your hometown,” said Brad Baldwin, owner of Stems, a wine and gift shop that is also adjacent to the Hilton Garden Inn. “It’s nice to be close to home instead of having to run to Seattle for those services.”


Robert Utz, general manager of the Hilton Garden Inn, said he’s confident the hotel’s clientele will take advantage of the new spa. He also wants to work with Ummelina to offer hotel and spa packages.


Ummelina has hired all of its staff. The new location will have two store managers — at Ummelina they’re known as “customs officers” — and 16 other staff members or “guides.” The staff has spent almost two weeks in training, which included a trip to the Seattle spa.


“They’re ready,” Ummel said. “And I’m so pleased with the staff we’ve been able to have.”


In addition to opening the new


Yakima location, Ummel wants to develop skin and body care products made of ingredients grown in the Yakima Valley. She hopes to have the new products ready by early next year.


Ummel said she has already received several group bookings and several people have purchased gift certificates at its Seattle location to use here.


“They’re just waiting for us to get open,” Ummel said. “We have numerous groups that have already booked. We anticipate with the season, we’ll be pretty busy.”


The spa’s hours will be 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday.


Baldwin, of Stems, said he may take advantage of the late hours.


“I love a nice massage,” he said. “It will be nice after a long day’s work to go over and have a massage.”

Yakama WA Day Spa / Ummelina Yakima Spa Retreat

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