Grand Dame of a Home, Locale+Views!

House - Entire home/apt · West Mount Airy Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19119, United States
Your host, Serena
10 Reviews
Response rate: 97%
Response time: within a few hours

The Space

Comfy, too!

Family-friendly, great for reunions and small groups of many stripes...

Location! just 15- 20 minutes to Center City (downtown) -- Convention Center, historic district, Reading terminal and the main train station.

Walkable to "Mt Airy Village"--in Philly's desirable West Mt Airy neighborhood-- our vibrant, enterprising neighborhood with stone architecture and lush trees -- was recently named the "Best Neighborhood in Philadelphia" by Money magazine.

We're the cornerstone home within a Greek Revival mansion - Peeled off 50 years ago for the owners to keep for themselves, within this fabulous 10,000 sq ft home..

Headed to the CONVENTION CENTER, HISTORIC DISTRICT or colleges? -- it's a straight shoot from the local train..or easy drive

Colleges: Temple, Arcadia, Chestnut Hill, Bryn Mawr, Penn, Drexel, Swarthmore, Philadelphia U, among them.

Four bedrooms/6 beds/2 baths/3 fireplaces/two huge furnished terraces incl two barbq's.

Really big windows overlook lush gardens,
Free ample parking. At 3,000 sq ft--this is the primo part of a 10,000 sq ft mansion. Dreamy queen beds have pillow-top mattresses.

LOCALE: Mt Airy is Philly's famously green, and engaged neighborhood -- high on community and enterprise, gorgeous old trees and diverse architecture and people. Walk to Mt Airy Village with its locally-owned food Co-op, cafe, independent bookstore, architectural salvage emporium, pop up shops, acupuncturist, yoga studio, dance studio, baby/kids wares and more. And yet, only two blocks to one entrance to Fairmount Park (largest city park in the country) and four short blocks to public transpo.

Only 15-22 min. to downtown, historic district, convention center....

NEARBY: Two animated, charming walkable districts are 2.5 miles away -- Chestnut Hill and Manayunk: cobblestoned streets, galleries, one-of-a-kind shops, and chef-led restaurants... also nearby: Ice Skating rink, Walnut Lane Golf (public), fly fishing, circus school...and oh so many great restaurants (Gee Chee Girl, Cantina Avenida, Tiffin, Mica, Valley Green Inn, Heirloom, Bella Trattoria, Iron Hill Brewery, Earth Bread Brewery, McMenamins--and more!).

HOME: Some rooms have 11' ceilings and quarter-sawn oak floors. Three fireplaces with Mercer tiles. Most rooms feature big windows overlooking great gardens. We will provide wood in winter. .

For clarity, we are listing this notice in its four-bedrm configuration (3,000 sq ft) for larger families. $285/night.

[This home also has a two-bedrm configuration (2,000 sq ft,, $175/night )] -

FAMILIES: We have a vintage high chair plus toys and games for kids, just ask for cradle, Pac-n-Play, stroller, booster chair or car seat (free)... While we're not wheel-chair accessible, it's just two steps to entrance and we've big wide doorways.. bath tub has grab bar.

The Moving Arts studio is a block away -- with drop-in classes for all ages (samba drums, kids music, modern dance...).

By that same corner: Big Blue Marble Bookstore has the best kids' section in the city... The Nesting House is hugely popular with parents of babies to 6 yr olds

We're walking distance to the woods, small playground, and a mile from Philadelphia School of Circus Arts. Philadelphia (architectural) Salvage is a great emporium. The Moving Arts studio has weekly music classes for young children -- w/ live guitar--and places to play indoors. check out Springboard studio.. public golf course, Material Culture store-warehouse, ice skating rink ... all nearby.

ACCESS: 76 & 95 expressways -- to NY, DC and other major cities. Bus & local trains, too.

Air Conditioning -- in bedrooms in late summer. The house has an excellent micro-climate + great ceiling fans. The high ceilings and well-built construction as well as cross-ventilation are terrific.

REVIEWS: More than 100 positive reviews of the host.

Room type: Entire home/apt
Accommodates: 9
Bedrooms: 4
Bathrooms: 2
Beds: 6
Extra people: $40 / night after 8 guests
Weekly Price: $1800 /week
Security Deposit: $250
Cleaning Fee: $50
Cancellation: Moderate
Overall Guest Satisfaction
Check In
  • My fiance and I had a WONDERFUL time celebrating our anniversary in this cozy place. We loved the atmosphere, the host was very friendly and accommodating. She also gave us a wonderful restaurant recommendation for dinner. The fireplace was lovely and she even provided matches, a starter, and firewood. Excellent overall.

    January 2014
  • In spite of snow, ice, and very frigid temps, Serena made our stay in the Mt Airy neighborhood in Philadelphia very comfortable. The fire in the fireplace was fantastic, just what we needed on such a cold night! The house was huge and full of character.

    January 2014
  • We are slowly recovering (including Jet Lag) from the wonderful time we had in Philadelphia and at Mt Airy. The house was all that was promised and more while the Mt Airy community was exactly right for for the three generations of our family stay at the house. There was enough space or our four very active grandchildren, while their parents could either escape or take them to the local woods to burn off some energy. Philadelphia - rapidly becoming my favourite US City, despite the trouble it started in 1776 - was easily accessible by car or SEPTA, while we managed two trips to New York - one on a Sunday which I'd recommend, but you don't need to be a genius to work out that driving into New York on a weekday is not very smart.
    Other reviews have praised Serena, if anything they under-estimated just how wonderful she is, full of great advice - nothing seems to be too much trouble for her. My only regret is that we couldn't follow up on all her suggestions for trips, visits and events.
    She is quite the dynamo - even bringing in the logs when we ran short for the fire.
    Most of us came from the UK - some to the USA for the first time - all got a real quality US welcome in a great environment.

    December 2013
  • “What a splendid home! It’s quite amazing to experience such easy comfort amidst the generous scale of this home and its fine interior details. We arrived during a cold snap, and even though the home was a comfortable temperature, the fireplace was a great treat. My personal favorite are the mahogany pocket doors…

    The beds were comfortable, and nice towels too. Easy to prepare meals in the kitchen which is well equipped, esp. with the Weavers Way food co-op so close. We already knew about this neighborhood from the past – it’s more of a stand-out than ever. Serena was generous with her time but also gave us all the privacy we needed.

    We once lived in this neighborhood, and were delighted to see it is even more vibrant and beautiful than ever.

    December 2013
  • The home is great space for a reunion and family time, with beautriful grounds. Neighbors frown on weddings and seem to disapprove of the rental arrangement. The home was not heated. We built fires and used a couple of space heaters. Cleanliness and level of maintenance left room for improvement. If you have mold allergies it would not be advisable. Gorgeous neigborhood.

    October 2013
    Response from Serena:

    Jan's last comment on departing was "We had a blast!" -- She kindly gave me flowers and another beautiful and useful gift.
    During her visit, I emailed several times, to check that all needs were met, but she was too busy with family events to read them or reply. I left wood for the two fireplaces and a portable space (email hidden) case. Early Oct. was unusually warm, and folks were not heating buildings yet. (We are now, of course.) This bldg. has an excellent micro-climate...
    It has steam radiators. Of the home's four bedrooms -- one then, and now three ALSO have the option of augmenting the temperature with guest-controlled, wall-mounted space heaters. The fourth bedroom is 'naturally' the warmest to begin with ...
    As to 'mold allergies', I think it likely that she experienced an allergy to pollen. While Jan hadn't asked to hold a wedding here; the topic came up after she arrived. As I explained, the home is grand but out of neighborliness, we don't host big wedding events here. (But 'frown'? no one is frowning.... I strongly doubt she had any uncomfortable exchange with neighbors.
    And yes, it is a gorgeous neighborhood. I'm glad Jan thinks it a great space for a reunion and family time.


    October 2013
  • Great house to stay when visiting Philadelphia. Located about 15 minutes from city center in a very nice and quiet neighborhood with lots of different shops (ranging from sustainable food to the ACME). Perfect to stay when working or when you are looking for some peace and quiet.

    August 2013
  • Beautiful old home! Fairmount park is a 5 minute walk from the home... We went hiking two days in a row just wandering through nature. Serena was very knowledgable and friendly. Definitely recommended!

    June 2013
  • We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at the mansion. Serena was a great host who was always so gracious to answer any questions and was available to make sure we had everything we needed. The accommodations were exceptional including the the spaciousness of the rooms, the well stocked kitchen with lots of appliances, a great porch, even beautiful grounds to take a nice evening stroll. The location was perfect as well....a beautiful neighborhood, a block from hiking trails, and just a quick ride to the zoo.

    May 2013
  • Serena was a lovely and attentive host. She even picked some of us up at the very nearby train station since it was snowing out.
    We were seven friends gathering for a relaxed reunion in this comfy apartment in a lovely old home. Having access to the kitchen was great and the food coop a few blocks away was convenient . Once the heat got going we were toasty warm and the fireplace stocked with wood was a cozy and favorite place to gather and enjoy one another's company. When we ran out of wood, Serena brought more for us.
    We would stay here again.

    January 2013
  • Serena is a kind and gracious host and went out of her way to accommodate all our needs. She is also very knowledgable about the neighborhood and it's history — which we found very useful! The 100+ year old home was a perfect location for our family reunion.

    The home is conveniently located a few blocks from the food co-op and a some charming locally-owned stores. During the day we explored the beautiful neighborhood and went for long walks in Fairmount Park. The home is also located very close to the train station, so you can easily take day trips to the city.

    We found everything we needed was right at our fingertips. We cooked dinner together every night, and gathered for hours around the large dining room table. After dinner we enjoyed sitting around the fireplace (home was stocked with firewood) catching up with each other well into the evening.

    January 2013
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English, Español
self employed
My first serious post-college job was to help design a large, upbeat exhibition about Philadelphia. I lived in LA then, but 20 years later, bought my own propaganda and moved here. What a great city to visit!--and this neighborhood (Mt Airy) is special. My son loved growing up here as well. I'm pleased to help you figure out how to best enjoy the city...or leave you to your own plans if you prefer. My past includes 20 years in the museum field which overlapped with six years as a travel magazine editor. So, yes, assume that i enjoy sharing the particulars. Self-employed since I could tote a little red wagon. Oh, that's me in photo, at right. My mom's friend Shirley, at left. The 3rd photo -- with the braided bread -- is a sister. i included it inadvertently...but it's so hospitable in a Frida Kahlo way, that i've kept it, to say hello and welcome.
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