Monastery’s new Noe Valley location is a destination for nurturing spa services and potent, plant-based beauty solutions.
Monastery's founder Athena Hewett.
Athena Hewett knew from an early age that she wanted to practice skincare. “I used to make my own little concoctions for my skin even as a child,” she says. “My mom was from Greece, and it was very normal for us to create herbal treatments for ourselvesfor beautification purposes.” Hewett channeled that love into Monastery, the spa and small-batch product line she helms, now from a brand-new studio in Noe Valley.
The serene space—which includes a retail area and several treatment rooms—is calm and inviting, peppered with a mix of interesting objects that honor Hewett’s roots. “I wanted my Greek heritage to be felt within the space, so we included ancient pottery and family heirlooms from my time in the Cyclades,” she explains. It’s Old World, but the airy atmosphere andstreamlined furniture and fixtures give it a distinctly Californian feel. “Weplayed with shape, texture, color and scale in a way that feels very informed by the past but simultaneously very contemporary.”
Monastery’s new space has an Old World- meets-California look and feel.
Although they’re currently closed for services due to the pandemic, Hewett is excited for when the spa’s individualized treatments can beoffffered. The extensive menu includes facials, waxing, and brow and lashservices. In spite of a menu, all treatments are bespoke. “To me, the name of the service is secondary,” Hewett explains. “More importantly, we spendthe time to make sure we find out exactly why this person came in and howwe can help them.” To ensure that services will be safe, Hewett and her team removed all robes, changed out down comforters to washable blanketsand installed air filters in each treatment room. “We have all extended our barbicide training to include the new COVID certification,” she says. “We ofcourse will be fully masked and will follow any protocols given by the city.”
A selection of the brand’s effective, plant-based products.
And when it comes to San Franciscans, Hewett is tuned in to the city’sresidents and what they want. “We are definitely more natural here. It’s notall about how we look,” she says. “I appreciate that people here are interested in their actual health and taking care of themselves.”
Photography by: From top: Jennifer McHaelsen; courtesy of brand; Aleen Son