Warm, welcoming and unique. In the heart of Philly's vibrant, enterprising, treesy, engaged Mt. Airy neighborhood.
This home was two buildings,100 years ago--one an apothecary. After WW2, the bldgs were combined and interior elements from a Wanamaker mansion were reclaimed for the upstairs here (now our AirBnb.). Downstairs became a bakery and an ice cream parlor.
In recent years, the downstairs became a mixed use space for dance/yoga,. pop up shops, music classes for children and adults...
Upstairs is the B&B, a complete home -- and 2,000 sq feet!
You can walk to the local train--four short blocks--or park your car free there. Local train goes directly to Center City--Convention Center, Historic District, Reading Terminal etc. Also convenient to Penn, Drexel, Swarthmore, Bryn Mawr, Haverford, Arcadia, Phila. U and Chestnut Hill colleges.
FEATURES: A design magazine called this home "funky charming". Period floors from virgin forest, skylights, faux finishes, working carved marble fireplace... Great bones!. Several pieces of furniture were made by the former owner, an art professor. BIG, beautiful, landscaped, furnished 2nd floor terrace to entertain in season, view off-season -- it overlooks a large private garden w/ small pond.
SIZE: 2,000+ sq ft. B&B home (!)-- Large sunken living room with piano, working fireplace, skylights. Gracious dining room seats 10 under carved alabaster chandelier. Two bedrooms + one study with day bed. Two bathrms.
Downstairs is a play/exercise studio (used also for occasional small dance/music classes --separate entrance for the community). You can practice yoga downstairs...
High ceilings - . Deep windows. Up to five people (or 6 if your group includes two couples) easily accommodated. Kids welcome. Plenty of toys, and studio downstairs for playtime.
ENJOY! We're by a popular cafe with on-site bakery, (featured in Oprah's magazine) -- where breakfast starts at 7 am. An organic-y grocery is steps away as is a top indie bkstore, architectural salvage emporium; a shop with gently-used, quality baby/kid wares...community acupuncture center; yoga, dance, meditation studios -- tai chi and capoeira too.
The neighborhood is getting known for 'pop up shops'. Little kids enjoy a little playground -- and several music classes they can drop in on..
No fee for crib, stroller or cradles--Ask ahead about free bicycles for adults and various vehicles for little kids......
We're walking distance to Fairmount Park. A short hop to Valley Green, famous entry to Fairmount Park -- people come from NJ to hike and bike here. Walkable to churches & synagogues and to public transportation.. About two miles to ice skating rink, public golf course.. and 2.5 miles to Manayunk and Chestnut Hill gallery districts.
BEDROOMS, 4 beds altogether
#1: Trundle beds (twin-size--one tucks beneath the other, when not in use), Private interior bathrm has skylight.
#2: Queen bed, windows on 3 sides, one overlooking private garden. Spacious with seating area.
#3: The study has windows on two sides, overlooking trees. it's not a conventional bedroom. Full bed (can replace with twin, if preferred.)
BATHROOMS: There are two--one with a marble shower stall and skylight; the other with a tub/ shower and Spanish tiles.
We're in the city--yet right by one of the gateways to Fairmount Park, the largest city park in the country... meadows, rivers, wilderness, covered bridges, horse stables, miles and miles of paths. The history walks are rich. But we digress.
THE NEIGHBORHOOD: Great, diverse architecture; locally owned enterprises. Award-winning gardens (we'll show you a peek.). Ask us how Mt Airy came to be so well known in city planning circles... Affection for this urban enclave runs high -- One of several reasons this is such a hot area is its strategic location. Another is the natural and architectural beauty. And that it's in the epicenter of a WALKABLE little 'village'.
CONVENIENT to train & bus. By car, 15 min. to downtown. 20 min to Historic Distric and Convention Center. Close to expressways for travel to other towns and East Coast cities. A half dozen colleges & universities are close by. By train, 21 minutes. Ample free parking on the street.
YOU CAN: Make yourself at home! Hang out on the blooming terrace in season. Play the piano and drums. Make use of the wifi, washer-dryer and downstairs yoga-dance-rehearsal studios. Kitchen privileges (dish and cookware included. R.O. water, skylight...). Young kids music classes (Tues & Thurs),
Enjoy the crackling fireplace in winter. or the huge, landscaped, furnished terrace in late Spring, Summer & Fall.
Browse the small collection of locally-owned, cool shops and cafe, just outside the door.
Let us know if you'll want the Pack-n-Play, cradle or stroller, bicycles when not already reserved at our other B&B... (free).
Nearby--rent an electric bicycle, take a Friday night trapeze class at Philadelphia Circus Arts, public golf course, ice skating rink, playground...,
RESTAURANTS: Think: Locally owned, chef-driven. Several are walking distance. And within 2 or 3 miles, well more than a dozen one-of-a-kind restaurants with proud local (website hidden) magazine just anointed Mica as "One of the 10 Best New Restaurants in the U.S." More affordable restaurants too like Recent guests recommend Avenida, Earth Bread Brewery, Gee Chee Girl, Iron Hill Brewery and Heirloom.
CHESTNUT HILL: NY Times Travel section devoted a full page to this cobble-stoned section of Philadelphia ..
MANAYUNK: A riverside restaurant, bar and gallery hotspot with a few nice consignment shops. And we have favorite places in GERMANTOWN too.
Another favorite nearby -- "Kitch-n Collectibles" - real vintage kitchen ware. And did we mention the golf course, ice skating rink, orchid hothouse....
LOCAL CAR: About 13-15 minutes to downtown (Art Museum district), along lush Lincoln Drive and Boat House Row. 18 min. to Convention Center & historic district.
INTRA- & INTERSTATE CAR: Close to 76 expressway (and just one Left turn). It connects to 95 ...or to 309.
STREET PARKING: ample and free.
TRAIN: 20 min. + $5 to downtown, with stop in historic district, Convention Center, museums, Old City (galleries, shops & cafes), Temple, main train station ("30th Street"). Or brief shuttle to Drexel & Penn. Our local station is a short walk.
AIRPORT: Cab, shuttle, train. 25 min by car. Or ask about other options...
The downstairs studios are available for rent on occasion but free for your private exercise or kids' play. We are adventurous folks--but pharmaceutical adventurers and outliers need not inquire, thanks.
SOUNDS of MUSIC: You're upstairs from a studio that offers several classes each week that produce sounds...tho not late in the evening. On Sun. 12:30-2 pm and Thurs 6:30 - 8 pm, the samba drumming class downstairs is very loud [tho we think irresistible]. All levels welcome (you too!), the teacher provides all instruments. ($15/per student to drop in but up to two B&B guests are FREE.). Sun. 9:30-11 am, a small church group meets downstairs that plays guitar and occasionally, a drum.
STUDIOS. We have two studios downstairs -- for use for yoga, dance, parties, pop up shops, workshops.. Enjoy free for your own private use, or join a class.
AIR: A.C. in both bedrooms & study in late summer. A big A.C. is now also in the living room where it will remain for the (website hidden) upon request.
We had a wonderful stay at Serena's place. It was very cozy. Lots of space for a family of 6 and Serena went out of her way to make us feel at home. Serena is a wonderful host... very friendly, offering lots of information about the area, responding to whatever we needed almost immediately..... even warning us about weather conditions that might affect our plans.
I had the best birthday EVER here! Pam was an AMAZING hostess! She was very attentive and helpful. The house is gorgeous! Lots of character. I highly recommend both the space amd the host!
Serena was more than a gracious host. She went the extra mile to make our son’s wedding ceremony better than we could have hoped. The home has the bohemian character perfectly suited to the young musical couple. You will like staying in this home for many reasons beyond a wedding of course. The hip neighborhood provides nice local fun, food, beverages and provisions. Be sure to stroll through the Philadelphia Salvage Company right down the block. The location in Germantown allows for easy in and out to Center City too.
DELAY REVIEW FOR STAY IN THIS HOUSE:
Kitchen: Trash left in trash bin from last guest
Bathroom: Used soap left in soap dish in shower
Broken toilet seat
2 dead cockroaches in shower
Apt: Overall on the dirty side
SAMBA CLASS WAS DEAFENING AND UNBEARABLE
CHURCH WAS BEARABLE BUT BARELY
AirBNB host Priscilla had a similar experience with this guest. I wish i had read her review earlier. "LEONARD IS TRULY A PAINFUL GUEST," she writes. "He showed up to check in at 6 am despite the check in 12pm, I received noise complaints and the bathroom sink was broken during his stay."
I did not feel comfortable with this guest--before, during or after his stay. Fortunately, well more than 200 other guests have made my hosting on AirBNB a pleasure.
We went to Philadelphia to bring thanksgiving to our adult children and were looking for someplace that would accommodate our family and the making of the feast. Serena's place was perfect and she went above and beyond on every count! We had 5 lovely days of eating and catching up on our children's live and ended each evening by the fire with a glass of wine and a game or two.
Serena was wonderful and her place was perfect!
Our extended family of 5 and a one year old came to Philadelphia for a weekend wedding of our daughter.
The spacious, apartment in a great neighborhood of Mt. Airy was just what we were hoping it would be. The beds were comfortable and the apartment perfect or our family
Serena was very attentive to our needs with particular attention to the needs of the baby, complete with a stroller and play and pac.
We recommend this apartment highly!
Plenty of room and rooms, clean and fresh, easy parking, pleasant neighborhood, wifi, full kitchen.
Our stay with Serena went very well. The house is just as described and has everything you need. The neighborhood is quiet and very cute, with the co-op and coffee shop conveniently located across the street. There is a very nice park nearby, as well. (We were there at the end of October and it was peak time to see the leaves change! Very beautiful!!). We had our own car with us and parking was not an issue.
There is a studio underneath the living space, so know that it might be a little noisy in case you have plans to sleep in/are not a morning person. Also, this is an older house and as such the fixtures, bathrooms, etc. are not "modern", but this adds to the charm of the house.
Serena is the perfect hostess, she was very knowledgable and passionate about Philadelphia, her home is located in a quiet suburb of Philly,but the centre city is easily accessible either by car or a 5 min walk to the local train. We stayed in Serena's home to attend a family wedding and Serena took time out to take and collect us from the venue as well as a guided tour of the city.The house is every bit as good as the photos, and a delight to stay in.
This apartment was clean and the beds were comfy. The hostess was receptive when we had questions and always answered email and phone. The location is great for exploring West Mt Airy neighborhood. I spent every morning at the cafe, which is clearly a major meeting site for locals. The Co-op is great for organic fruits and veggies, etc. A couple of minor negatives: The WIFI only really worked in certain parts of the house and was not very fast in my experience. Also, it is a very busy corner and so the street noise was loud with the windows open, and my travel companion and I both woke up a fair bit the first night. But luckily it turned colder and so we just closed the windows and slept great after that. Nonetheless, I would stay here again.
During Emily's stay, Verizon sent me two emails that they had detected OUTAGES in the FIOS service, "including internet, telephone, email..." I'd noticed at one point that my cell phone wasn't making outgoing calls, too. The first email arrived just after midnight and so no easy way to notify Emily. She left early in the morning, so we never touched base about this.
Verizon also sent a mass email when the issue was resolved.
Emily and I never discussed this, so her notice here is the first I've learned that the service was slow. I'll check it out with our computer maven, but the standard is generally to work well. That said, this is a 2,000 sq ft home + a very large terrace -- she's correct that for some devices, some spaces here, transmission is faster than in others.
As to traffic sounds at night, during winter, we will also be closing the storm windows-that should help. I'm interested to know if other guests consider this a 'very busy corner' too...
Emily was a great guest -- I would be delighted for her to return.