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Hostelling International - Chamounix Mansion

3250 Chamounix Drive, West Fairmount Park, Philadelphia, USA


  • 87%Value For Money
  • 84%Security
  • 73%Location
  • 86%Staff
  • 87%Atmosphere
  • 85%Cleanliness
  • 75%Facilities

Property Information:

In the heart of Philadelphia's Fairmount Park, historic Chamounix Mansion has welcomed overnight guests and groups for fifty years. In May of this year, we celebrated our 50th Anniversary, originally as a member of AYH (American Youth Hostels), then Hostelling USA and Hostelling International. Originally built in 1802 as a country home, this charming and unpretentious mansion rests on a scenic bluff above the Schuylkill River, making it convenient to Philadelphia's cultural and historic attractions, sporting events, and restaurants. We feel privileged to have, certainly, entertained angels, unaware, as we never falter, in half a century, from our mission: to provide low-cost, dormitory-style accommodations to the intrepid spirits, of all ages, from all over the world. In this micro-community, the ever-changing population of guests provides a unique and varied experience with those who share the love of travel.

Our guests experience the wonder of Philadelphia while at this much-loved mansion that offers clean, comfortable and timeless accommodations, without compromising the integrity of Chamounix’s Federal/Georgian style. Awarded a place on the National Registry of Historic Places in 1974, Chamounix staff is accustomed to serving as docents to our guests who are history buffs. As well, our guests enjoy our two period rooms, the Harp Room and the Portrait Room, just as the original owners would have; certainly Benjamin Franklin, were he a guest, would have been curious enough to strike up a conversation about your IPhone, your laptop, or your Kindle. You can almost see him sitting across from you in that wing chair by the fireplace.

Located in the heart the largest urban park in the world, in the center of Philadelphia, just as William Penn conceived of and envisioned it, Fairmount Park is home to Philadelphia’s greatest treasures. The Philadelphia Museum of Art (yes, you can run the steps and take your photo with Rocky), The Fairmount Waterworks, Shofuso Japanese House and Garden, The Please Touch Museum ( which makes its home in the 1876 National Centennial celebration’s Memorial Hall), many of the public sculptures, and the new Paine’s Skateboard Park are just a few of Chamounix’s neighbors in the park.
This is a hostel where you can learn and play, meeting fellow travelers from the world-over while breaking down the walls of international communication playing the universal equalizer: foosball. Our vintage bikes are free to use, and we give props to whoever takes out the yellow Schwinn Stingray. Only a fifteen minute walk to the bus stop via the sidewalk, or less than ten on the trail, the #38 bus pops you into Center City in about 30-40 minutes (after winding through a few neighborhoods to pick up people who use Septa to commute). We sell Septa tokens for $1.80, saving you 45 cents on the bus fare.

At the end of the day, you can share your experience with your friends and family back home on Skype with our free Wi-Fi, or with our free guest computer. Share a meal, share a day, share an adventure, and share a smile at the five star hostel in the park. Our guestbook speaks to our truest rating, feel free to flip through them while you are here and enter your own review, drawing, or if nothing else, be sure to leave us your John Hancock.
Nestled in a wooded setting, the hostel offers a welcoming front porch with comfy Adirondack chairs and park benches, where you might become best friends with one of the abandoned cats we’ve ‘adopted’: in order of appearance, so to speak, we have Bacon, Canadian Bacon, Tommy, Aurora, and Tatertot. There have been others along the way, many have been adopted by a guest. They are outside cats, so allergy-sufferers and those who do not like cats: it’s all good.

Chamounix (CHAM'-ah-nee) Mansion provides clean, inexpensive accommodations for:

- Individual Travelers: meet like-minded friends from all over the world! Our front porch is the place to make new friends. We even have a wedding story from two people (one American, one French) who met at Chamounix and eventually married!

-Families: (the only hostel in Philly with a crib and family-friendly atmosphere; kids under the age of 16 are WELCOME with parent or guardian, and have a super low rate of $8! Children under the age of 3 are free. WE NEVER PUT YOUR KIDS WITH OTHER GUESTS!

-Groups: For group gatherings, we also offer meeting rooms with kitchen/dining areas for workshops, retreats, and events. Think of Chamounix when planning alternative Spring Break, corporate retreats, The Dad Vail Regatta, anniversary parties, alumni gatherings, and weddings. Groups (9 or more guests) MUST contact the hostel directly for group bookings, as separate terms and conditions apply. Reservations submitted for more than nine people will not be confirmed.

We are happy to offer, for our guests’ enjoyment and travel needs:

-Free DIY (do-it-yourself) pancake breakfast everyday
-Free wireless internet
-Free bed linens and towel
-Free Parking!
-$3 discount per night for ISIC cardholders
-NO extra fees for using your credit card
-FREE high-speed internet guest computer
-FREE vintage bicycles to lend
-An extensive and quirky video library with FREE movies to loan
-Vintage board games
-A take one, leave one book exchange, as well as a permanent library with an eclectic collection of books on the history of Philadelphia
-Vending machines
-FREE maps and guides of the area, including bike trails and hiking in Fairmount Park
-Formal gardens have been created throughout the Chamounix grounds, with the significant ornamental trees labeled with their correct Latin and common names. Check your nomenclature by asking for one of our “Tree Maps” and tour the grounds, learning our noble trees
-FREE foosball table
-Central air-conditioning throughout our building
-On-site laundry facilities, washer & dryer as well as drying racks and clothesline/iron & ironing board
-FREE ear plugs for those who need them
-Fully-equipped guest kitchen: three refrigerators, three ovens, three stoves, microwave, cookware
-Security lockers
-Large lounge for game nights and socializing!
-FREE use of two gas grills
-Building has security system and live-in staff
-Great knowledgeable staff to answer all your questions and give insider tips to the area, and share from our collection of handmade neighborhood maps
-International standards for comfort, cleanliness and security
-FREE volleyball, horseshoes, Frisbee, soccer balls, tennis rackets, and more!
-Wheelchair accessible
-NO age restriction - all ages welcome; under 18 must be accompanied by an adult

The maximum stay at Chamounix Mansion is 7 nights. Any reservation for more than seven nights will not be accepted, nor will it be confirmed, if you make separate consecutive 7 night reservations. Longer stays are possible on a case-by-case basis and can be discussed with our General Manager once you are on the premises.

Chamounix Mansion is committed to being as environmentally-friendly as possible. Our goals are to conserve energy and protect the environment with sound choice of the products we use and recycling. We encourage guests not to waste food or soap and shampoo by offering a space to leave these items. Our General Manager and one of the Assistant Managers are the role models, here, as their stewardship of the earth and its resources is part of their moral code.

You can use our bicycles to explore Fairmount Park, stroll or ride to Belmont Plateau to see one of the best views of Philadelphia's skyline (and mentioned in Will Smith, formerly DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince song ‘Summertime’), play tennis nearby, BBQ in our picnic area or just relax on Chamounix's historic grounds. Less than four miles (less than 6 kilometers) from Center City, just north of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Philadelphia Zoo, Chamounix is a breath of fresh air in one of the United States largest cities, but an easy distance from the city’s famous craft-breweries, the infamous Cheesesteak, an urban area with the most extensive and popular Mural Arts program in the country, The Barnes Foundation—a private art collection now cared for by the art museum and the most significant private collection of art on display anywhere, Independence Hall, where the diverse and altruistic minds of our founding fathers wrote and signed the US Constitution, just to name a few of the great things that await our guests when they head out for the day.

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  • Latest Review

    Please change those beds now. Probably the worst bed i've slept in my entire life. That would have been a reason not to stay in your hostel, plus the location and the difficulties of taxis and ubers to get there.
    Read More
      Anonymous, Spain, Male, 18-24
  • See all reviews »


  • 24 Hour Security
  • Adaptors
  • Air Conditioning
  • BBQ
  • Bicycle Hire
  • Bicycle Parking
  • Board games
  • Book Exchange
  • Breakfast Included
  • Cable TV
  • Ceiling Fan
  • Common Room
  • DVD's
  • Free City Maps
  • Free Internet Access
  • Free Parking
  • Free WiFi
  • Foosball
  • Games Room
  • Hairdryers
  • Hot Showers
  • Housekeeping
  • Internet Access
  • Kitchen
  • Laundry Facilities
  • Linen Included
  • Lockers
  • Luggage Storage
  • Meeting Room
  • Outdoor Terrace
  • Parking
  • Tea/Coffee Making Facilities
  • Towels Included
  • Vending Machines
  • Washing machine
  • Wheelchair Accessible

Hostel Awards

  • 2015 Hoscar Winner
  • 3rd
  • Best Large Hostel Chain
  • 2014 Hoscar Winner
  • 3rd
  • Best Large Hostel Chain
  • 2015 3rd Best Large Hostel Chain
  • 2014 3rd Best Large Hostel Chain
  • 2010 2nd Hostel Chain

View all Award Winners


  • Child Friendly
  • Credit Cards Accepted
  • Curfew
  • Lockout
  • Non Smoking
  • Taxes Included

Cancellation Policy

This property has a 1 day cancellation policy.
Failure to cancel within this time will result in a cancellation charge equal to the first night of your stay, unless otherwise stated below (see 'Things to Note' information).

Things to Note

Chamounix Mansion is in one of the most remote and beautiful areas of Fairmount Park. Therefore it is a bit ‘off the beaten path but only a 15 minute walk through the tree-lined Chamounix Drive from the 38 Bus. We do not accept group bookings online(any reservation of 9+ people), for group bookings a guest must contact us directly as separate terms and conditions apply. We have a daily ‘closed’ period, from 11-4:30. All hostellers must leave the facility during that time. We have a curfew: 2am We are family friendly: all ages of hostellers get to know one and other here. The maximum stay at Chamounix Mansion is 7 nights. Any reservation for more than seven nights will not be accepted, nor will it be confirmed, if you make separate consecutive 7 night reservations. Longer stays are possible on a case-by-case basis and can be discussed with our General Manager once you are on the premises. Chamounix is great for hostellers who enjoy the city life, but are ready for the privilege of sleeping in a Colonial-era mansion surrounded by 200 year old trees, walking trails, bike paths, and our huge porch with cozy Adirondack chairs and friendly outdoor cats. Borrow a bike and ride up to Belmont Plateau where the best view of the Philly skyline can be seen.

Hostelling International - Chamounix Mansion Located at 3250 Chamounix Drive, West Fairmount Park, Philadelphia.
Hostelling International - Chamounix Mansion
Philadelphia PA Pennsylvania 19 3250 Chamounix Drive, West Fairmount Park
82% 409
40.0039596 -75.1964054
Hostelling International - Chamounix Mansion
    Rooms available     10 Bed Male Dorm     Standard 16 Bed Female Dorm
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