3250 Chamounix Dr.,
215/878-3676 or 800/379-0017,
A one-of-a-kind mansion turned youth hostel, Chamounix (pronounced CHAM-ah-nee) occupies a bucolic setting in the heart of Fairmount Park. Originally built as a country home for Philadelphia merchant George Plumstead in 1802, the restored mansion offers clean, air-conditioned dorm accommodations, with several private rooms available, at an unbeatable price of $20 for Hostelling International members with valid ID, $23 for non-members, and $8 for children under 16 traveling with their family.
A public SEPTA bus runs into the city from a stop just a short walk from the hostel, but a car or bike is useful for greater flexibility and safety at night. Free bikes are available for guests to explore Fairmount Park.
There is a 2 a.m. curfew and alcohol and smoking are not permitted on-site. Included in the common areas is an Internet kiosk, a TV/VCR lounge with a video library, and a recreation room with table tennis, a piano, and foosball. Linens, pillow, and blanket are provided and stays are generally limited to three nights. A washer and dryer, towels, and lockers are available for a fee.
Check-in is 8–11 a.m. or 4:30 p.m.–midnight. There is a daily lockout 11 a.m.–4:30 p.m. when the office is closed. Reservations must be secured with Visa, MasterCard, or money order.
© Karrie Gavin from Moon Philadelphia, 1st Edition