HI - Philadelphia, Chamounix Mansion Hostel, Philadelphia

West Fairmount Park
51 Reviews
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HI - Philadelphia, Chamounix Mansion Hostel Reviews

Cool hostel, cool people just outside Phili

Staff were super friendly and helpful. Hostel was nice, and I liked that it was a little removed from the center of the city. Met awesome people. Make your own pancakes breakfast was fun. Cool layout -- you are in a mansion!

Age 23 | USA

Everything But the Beds

The bunk beds are sized too small to be comfortable for an average adult, much less a larger sized person. The mattresses are plastic-covered foam that have no springs or support. There is no box spring, just a layer of plywood under the mattress. I would have been more comfortable sleeping on the floor. Otherwise, the Chamounix Mansion is a lovely hostel, convenient by car to the museums (after rush hour) in a quiet location surrounded by nature.

Age 48 | u.s.a.

Nice Hostel -- One Staff Member Needs Caution

Beautiful park setting, not convenient for transportation, good accommodation generally worth it. One staff member seems to think rude and loud is ok ... its not ... he throws garbage bags right next to sitting guests -- not pleasant.


The best thing about HI - Philadelphia, Chamounix Mansion Hostel is that it really is a mansion.

The Location

Chamounix Mansion is located in a lovely park west of downtown Philadelphia. Its scenic and peaceful, but quite isolated. Nothing is within walking distance and the nearest bus stop is about a mile away. Surprisingly, parking around the hostel is a bit limited. There are no actual parking places, just gravel areas next to the road where guests are instructed to leave their vehicles. The grounds are lovely, with a lot of flowering bushes and friendly cats, but the isolated location makes it inconvenient for travelers who do not have vehicles.

Rooms and Bathrooms

The large dorm rooms contain several sturdy wooden bunk beds, but not much room to store luggage or unpack. The beds are small and uncomfortable, and the blankets provided are quite scratchy. Hooks on each bunk bed give guests places to hang towels or jackets, but there is no place to hang up clothes. The bathrooms are separated into male and female facilities, and are able to accommodate several guests at a time. Showering is awkward because while there are towel hooks, there is no place to put clothes. For some reason, there is often a lot of water on the floor of the bathrooms as well. Everything seems relatively clean and in good condition, though.

Common Spaces

One thing that guests should be aware of is that the hostel is spread between two buildings -- the mansion and the carriage house (guests are placed here when the mansion is full). All facilities and common areas like the kitchen, laundry room, dining room, vending machines, and game room are located in the mansion. The carriage house consists of a male dorm and a female dorm, each with a large corresponding bathroom, and a private apartment on the second floor. There is no common area in the carriage house -- not even any seating on the porch -- so staying in the carriage house is a bit awkward, since everything, including the hostels office, is located in the mansion. Wi-Fi is also only available in the mansion. Carriage house guests are, of course, welcome to walk to the mansion to use the facilities and hang out with other guests, but its still kind of inconvenient to be placed in the carriage house. Quite a diverse array of travelers stay on this property, so socializing with other guests is especially interesting. Everyone is quite friendly and outgoing.


The worst thing about this hostel is the lockout -- guests are locked out of both the mansion and the carriage house between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. each day, and after 2 a.m. each night. Also, the numeric code needed to gain entry to the carriage house changes every day, so guests must first go to the hostels office in the mansion to get the new code for the day before they can re-enter the carriage house after the lock out. Sometimes the staff fails to mention this to guests. Overall, its a nice piece of property and a good value, but the setup and the lockout are pretty inconvenient. Chamounix Mansion Hostel is not a bad place to stay, but travelers may be disappointed by the way it is run.

United States

In dire need of a gut rehab

While the Chamounix might have been a glorious mansion once, that is no longer the case. She has great bones, but the place needs a thorough cleaning, gut rehab and bath & kitchen redo. You should not sit in the living room while women are showering as the water runs downhill ... literally. The beds might as well not have mattresses, the sheets are below par. Had I known about the horrible condition of the Chamounix, I would never have agreed to chaperone 11 foreign exchange teens. They by the way, did not appreciate the accommodations either. I would have rather stayed at the flea bag motel.

Nancy R.

Beautiful location, though difficult to get to

Wonderful old mansion in a stunning city park. Great if you have a car; not so by public trans/walking. Staff is knowledgeable and friendly -- perhaps too friendly, as they did not ask people to talk quietly and keep food out of dorms. (Two hostelers from hell were there last week: A man who talked incessantly and loudly in the LR, and a woman who covered a 7-8 foot arc around her bunk with papers, junk food, dirty mugs, her computer -- and then hogged the public computer for most of the morning.) The place is immaculate & spacious. Be SURE to have your earplugs! Still, one of my favorite "rural" hostels in a vibrant city.


I would give it 3 1/2 stars

I enjoyed my stay at the hostel. It was clean and quiet, but the beds were not very comfortable. They were foam mattresses with thick plastic coating that scrunched them down and made them kind of hard, so I take away 1 star for that. The common areas are nice. They could use some fly paper in the kitchen or a bug zapper! There were 2 evil cats hanging around the porch that kept sneaking in. I'm allergic to cats so I had to constantly blow my nose and got a rash. One of them bit somebody! The free bicycles were broken so we didn't get to use them. I take away a half star for the lockout! It's not a problem normally I guess if you are out seeing things, but it was really hot around 3pm and it would be nice to be able to come back to the hostel for lunch and a nap. The closest bus stop is over a mile away. I rented a car, but felt really bad for people who had to walk that far, especially with their bags. I gave people rides as much as I could, but the car was only so big and I felt really sad when we were riding with a full car and then saw one or two people half way along and couldn't squeeze them in. I think the hostel should offer a drop off service to the bus stop at least once or twice per day, especially since they have a lockout at 11:00. If it rains at 11:00 and people are locked out of the hostel and have to walk a long way then that's terrible, especially if they have suitcases!


Very Nice

It's a very nice hostel and we would stay there again! Bus to Philadelphia.


More reviews...

HI - Philadelphia, Chamounix Mansion Hostel Reviews from the Web

Incredible location. Beautiful house. Night shift lady is friendly, unlike morning shift lady.

Negative is the beds could be more comfortable and you arent allowed in the building between 11 and 4. And its a NPO which is kind of unfair to everyone else.

But theres a piano!


Liked: It is a historical landmark Didn't like: Guest are asked to leave the property for five and a half hours each day.


Liked: Ambience & beautiful grounds Didn't like: Hard to get there if no car.


Liked: Bikes Didn't like: Distance from city


Liked: Quiet, cheap, out of the busy area of Philadelphia but still close by. Didn't like: Fairly hard to catch public transport to the City.


Liked: The country setting in the city is nice change from the many hostels I stay in urban settings. The old world charm has such a pleasant feeling when your staying here. Didn't like: There isn't enough outlets in the bedrooms, but was able to find more in other rooms, but I was a little inconvenient.


Liked: Old house Didn't like: Absolutely non-smoking location, also surrondings (due to Fairmount Park location because of Philadelphia law).


This hostel is really different to your average hostel which I liked. The mansion is beautiful and has so much character. The stage were very friendly and open and facilities were very good for the price, very good value! I liked that it was set in a park but I was looking for a relaxing stay and not to explore Philadelphia. If you want to spend most of your time in the city then I would recommend staying closer in, having a car or not minding that it will take a little while. I had a great time here and would definitely recommend it to others.


Liked: Cool, authentic old structure located in Park setting. Nice Hostel but located in Park way out from the city. Didn't like: Rude Staff. Staff does not realize they are here to serve the traveler. No water in Coke machine.......plenty of soft drinks though. Cannot count on getting drinking water here. No Healthy snacks available. You would think that because this place is so far out of the city, they would provide some basic foodstuffs, but no........nothing. Long 2 mile walk from Bus Stop to get Hop-on Hop-off bus or city bus. Come prepared, no services here. Staff does not care.


Liked: Beautiful Old Mansion Didn't like: The Bathrooms Smell awful


Liked: Cool atmosphere, liked the historic property setting. The park location is also very nice. The bathrooms were modern. Big common rooms, wifi and free parking were great. Didn't like: Easy to hear everyone in the hallway, beds not the most comfortable, no lockers in room, the only breakfast food is diy pancakes, and sometimes the kitchen was too busy to get in to make them. There is no elevator if you have lots of bags (no problem for us).



In the heart of Philadelphia's Fairmount Park - historic Chamounix Mansion has welcomed overnight guests and groups for nearly forty years. Originally built in 1802 as a country home, the mansion rests on a scenic bluff above the Schuylkill River and is convenient to Philadelphia's cultural and historic attractions, sporting events, and restaurants.

Chamounix (CHAM'-ah-nee) Mansion provides clean, inexpensive accommodations for individuals, families, and groups. The newly restored and handicapped-accessible Carriage House is an ideal facility for group accommodation. The hostel also offers meeting rooms with kitchen/dining areas for workshops, retreats, and events.

Nestled in a wooded setting, Chamounix Mansion offers a welcoming front porch and two communal rooms restored to 1850 and furnished with antiques. A marble fireplace graces the 19th-Century parlor and a wonderful mural of the historic Water Works on the Schuylkill River can be found in the main hallway.

Chamounix amenities include a TV/VCR lounge (Richard Schirrmann Room), video library, Internet kiosk, vending machines, fully equipped kitchen with dining areas, a recreation room with ping-pong, piano, and foosball. Washer/dryer and lockers are available.

Use our free bikes to explore Fairmount Park, stroll to Belmont Plateau to see one of the best views of Philadelphia's skyline, play tennis nearby, BBQ in our picnic area or just relax on Chamounix's pristine grounds.

Plenty of free parking is available with ample parking space for buses.

Sleeping accommodations are in comfortable, air-conditioned dormitory-style rooms. A limited number of smaller rooms are available for families and couples. The hostel provides a blanket and a pillow on each bed.

Since sleeping bags are prohibited, guests should bring their own linen or rent linen for $2.00. Although we have towel rental for $.50, guests usually bring their own towels. A limited number of toiletries are available in a vending machine.

Location and Contact


• Directions By Car: take exit #339 (City Ave.) off I-76, south on City Ave., left on Belmont, left on Ford Rd., left on Chamounix Dr. to dead end.
• Directions By Bus: take bus #38 from Market St. in Center City to corner of Ford and Cranston Sts. Continue walking down Ford, turn left at the Stop Sign under the Stone Bridge onto Chamounix Drive, walk to the end.
• Directions By Airport: take the SEPTA R1 train to Suburban Station. Walk outside to JFK Boulevard, take SEPTA bus #38 to Ford and Cranston Sts. Continue walking down Ford, turn left at the Stop Sign under the Stone Bridge onto Chamounix Drive, walk to the end.
• Directions By Train: go to the train platform marked "SEPTA" and take any train to Suburban Station - it's only a 2 minutes ride and it's free with your
• Amtrak ticket stub. Walk outside to JFK Boulevard, and take SEPTA bus #38 to Ford and Cranston Roads. Continue walking down Ford, turn left at the Stop Sign under the Stone Bridge onto Chamounix Drive, walk to the end.



Address: 3250 Chamounix Drive, West Fairmount Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

HI - Philadelphia, Chamounix Mansion Hostel is listed on the following booking sites:

Not listed at Hostelworld


Website HI - Philadelphia, Chamounix Mansion Hostel Philadelphia www.philahostel.org
Phone Number: +1 (215) 878-3676
To add or correct information for this listing, please use the Listing Correction Form.

Facilities and Amenities

Digital Nomads

Family-Friendly Hostel

Groups (10+ people)

Solo Traveller





Wi-Fi in Lobby/Commons

Bike Rental

Lockers in Lobby

Luggage Storage

24 Hour Security

Air Conditioning

BBQ Grill

Board Games

Book Collection/Exchange

Cable TV

Clothes Dryer

Concierge/Info Desk

Credit Card Payments

Entirely Non-Smoking


Hair Dryers

Hot Showers



Lounge Area

Meeting/Banquet facilities

Movie Library/Rental


Wheelchair Accessible

Checkout: 11:00 (11 AM)

Lockout: Yes

Minimum Stay: 1 night

Open Dates: January 15 - December 14

Reception Hours: 8:00 -11:00am and 4:30pm - 2 am

Size: Large (60-100 beds)


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