Joe Schmitt writes a weekly blog called The Good Life, featuring information about the region’s history, culture, climate and economy. The blog also showcases new residents, clubs and organizations, outdoor recreational opportunities and local events.
Whether you call the Yakima Valley home or you’re planning a wine country getaway, area spas and salons offer everything you need to relax and rejuvenate. Valley Escapes As Yakima Valley wine country comes of age, the increasing range of specialty spa and salon services makes it a simple matter to find the perfect place to nurture yourself. When A’ La Mode Spa & Salon first opened its doors six years ago, owner Bonnie Carter set out to offer an eclectic blend of home décor products in her boutique, along with massage services.
Taking Carter by surprise, demand for massage quickly eclipsed the boutique and A’ La Mode outgrew its original space after just one year. “I had no idea when I opened the store that I would ever own a spa and salon,” says Carter. “I had always dreamed of the home décor business, but it’s changed because it’s what the customers wanted. I had to let it go and become what it is, but I love it.” When Carter moved to the new location, the spa experience she created was unique in the Valley. While Yakima has long been home to several small, but popular, independent massage practices, Carter delivered something new by featuring a variety of specialty services in a serene spa setting by a team of experienced and highly trained practitioners. “We had a true spa focus with the aroma and the music,” says Carter. “It’s about the whole experience. It’s inviting and people feel comfortable.”
The new location also allowed her to respond to customer demand and increase the range of services to include facials, manicures, pedicures and more. “We had only one treatment room before and now we have five. We grew from two employees to 17,” she says. As A’ La Mode grew, the number of other local businesses offering spa services increased and existing businesses evolved with expanded offerings and new, tranquil spaces. Today, Valley residents and visitors can find the perfect escape from more than a dozen spas and salons for massage, facials, microdermabrasion, body treatments, waxing, manicures, pedicures and more. A notable addition to the spa scene in Yakima, the much-anticipated 2007 opening of Ummelina International Day Spa was greeted with enthusiasm. Situated in downtown Yakima, Ummelina offers the sort of luxury spa experience typically expected in only urban areas. The Yakima Valley even offers a retreat from the day-to-day grind at a bed & breakfast in Sunnyside, WA. The Sunnyside Inn Bed & Breakfast can schedule in room massages for one or two persons so you can wake feeling rested and refreshed.
Making Time for Tranquility As the number of Valley businesses offering spa services has grown, customer demand has kept pace—even in these challenging economic times. “The interest is still here,” says Carter, who has wait lists for services. Even when cutting back is the norm, people embrace the importance for taking time to nurture the body and the spirit—especially during times of elevated stress, says Carter. “I think in this world these days, there’s so much awareness about taking care of yourself and this is an important part of that,” she says. From simple afternoon escapes to weekly tension-relieving rituals and healing retreats, the popularity of spa services reflects a shift in perceptions that previously defined massage and other services as pampering luxuries. “Today it’s really about self care. People may have started coming in for pampering and then it becomes a regular part of life,” says Carter. “Their frame of mind is better and they relieve stress, which is so important. Stress is a leading cause of so many illnesses.”
Featured Destinations From luxurious, full-service spas to boutique salons, these are some Valley favorites. A La Mode Spa & Salon—A variety of massage services, facials and peels, waxing, body wraps and treatments including scrubs and exfoliation and specialty manicures and pedicures including high-gloss, chip-free Shellac color. Ummelina International Day Spa - Rituals for the body including a variety of massage services with calming or stimulating aromatherapy and hydrotherapy. They offer healing showers, spa baths, and saunas combined with aromas from around the world, in addition to soothing foot baths, healing and renewing body treatments, facials, and signature manicures and pedicures. Onyx Salon, Spa and Boutique - Microderm and microcurrent treatments, facials, chemical peels, brown and lash tints, manicure and pedicure services, and massage Sole Therapy Day Spa - Massage, body wraps, waxing, facials, peels, and specialized foot and hand treatments. Spa Naturelle - Massage, body polishes, body wraps, waxing, lash tinting, facials, and men's skin care and shaving. Massage Associates of Yakima - A variety of massage services, facials, peels, microdermabrasion, body wraps, waxing, and specialty manicures and pedicures. Serenity Massage and Day Spa - A wide variety of massage services, facials, body wraps, waxing and exfoliation. Salon at Lakeside - Massage, facials, microdermabrasion, waxing, manicures and pedicures. Studio 16 - Specialty manicures and pedicures, facials, and waxing. Spa by Kendra at Salon Latour - Facials, peels, and body treatments. The Sunnyside Inn Bed & Breakfast - In room massages for one or two in a small town setting.