House manual

Every homestay is different. At Charm City Homestay, you are staying with a retired journalist and world traveler, who is still a travel writer and a lover of the outdoors. It may sound like a contradiction, but I love peace and quiet AND social interaction with my guests. These house rules are designed to allow us to share this historic Charm City rowhome, built in 1848, harmoniously.


If you smoke, have animals, wear perfumes or fragrances, or want to bring in family, visitors, etc., another accommodation would be better for you. If you accidentally booked without knowing these limitations, please contact me immediately so we can get you into a different accommodation.

Can you accommodate smokers?
Unfortunately not. I and many of my guests have asthma and smoke sensitivities. Smokers who book anyway without disclosing that they smoke will not be admitted and will not receive a refund.
Can I wear perfumes and fragrances, or place plug-in deodorizers in my room?
I’m afraid not, these trigger my asthma and that of other guests.
What pets are on your welcoming committee?
I’m glad you asked!
Do you allow additional animals?
My own pets, especially the cats, freak out if other animals are around.


Can I have guests or visitors? Can they come 'see where I'm staying'? Can my supervisor bring in my luggage?
Only you and anyone else you officially booked in the original reservation are permitted to enter my house. Anyone else needs to wait outside for you. This includes parents, siblings, children, in-laws, conference colleagues, friends from college and anyone else. This is important both for insurance purposes and to respect the privacy of my home. If you need a different arrangement, please book an entire place for yourself, vs. a room in a shared home. Thanks in advance.

Special note for travel nurses: You may have 1 guest for 2 nights a month. If you have a group that needs accommodation (say you are all en route to a wedding), let me know — I may be able to put your additional guests into another suite. Bear in mind we have to work with maximum occupancy since my home is residentially zoned.

Do I have kitchen privileges?

Here’s what you can use in the kitchen:

  • Microwave
  • Refrigerator
  • Freezer
  • Keurig coffeemaker (also makes hot tea)
  • Plates, cutlery, cups, sink, dishwasher

The stove and oven are reserved for the homeowner. Why? VERY limited counter space, it’s difficult to share it if multiple people want to cook their meals. Still, IF you would like to create a meal for everyone in the house, let me know and we can discuss this option.

Special note for travel nurses: You can also use the stove and oven, please clean up and put away your dishes promptly, thanks.

Can I eat in my room?
Eating in your room is not permitted. Please eat, snack and enjoy coffee, tea and other beverages in the dining room or on the roof deck. This keeps our suites free of roaches and avoids the possibility of you being charged for spills to the mattresses (i don’t think you want to be charged $1,000 for a ruined mattress!), rugs, chaise lounge, carpet, etc. You can of course have water in your room.
How much luggage can I bring?
You are permitted a maximum of three items of luggage, such as suitcases, backpacks or spinners.

Special note for travel nurses: You can bring additional items. Bear in mind, I only offer use of your suite, so everything has to fit in there. For example, I don’t have any storage space for kitchen utensils, pots and the like — you will have your own pantry, fridge and freezer space though.

Where I can get storage?

If you have a car full of belongings, go online or call Extra Space Storage at (855) 838-1714 regarding their location at 1400 Eastern Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21231 to rent a space to hold all but the maximum of 3 suitcases permitted in this accommodation.

You can book a small space for $19-24 a month, first month FREE.

If you need a truck, these are included free as part of storage at Canton Self-Storage.

What items can I not put down the toilet?
Tampons, makeup remover pads and the like cannot go in the toilet, they will clog the older plumbing. Please wrap tampons in the provided bags and put in the trash.
What if I have to cancel?
If we can rebook your room for all or part of your stay, we can refund your payment to the extent a new booking replaces it. To be on the safe side, we strongly recommend that you get travel insurance to protect yourself.

You may be covered for this automatically by your credit card — check your travel benefits online. A useful article: Compare credit cards’ trip cancellation, trip interruption policies


When can I check in?
4 p.m. until 9 p.m. If you want to check in later, this may be possible if you do not need to park a car — let’s discuss your needs to find a good solution for both of us.
Do you offer early checkin or luggage dropoff?
Yes, for a fee. The previous guest has your room until his or her 11 a.m. checkout. If you want to check in before 4 p.m., I can accommodate by scheduling the cleaning crew.
What is the fee for early checkin or luggage dropoff?
Your cost is $15. This needs to be arranged and paid for at least 48 hours in advance.
You can also drop off your luggage before 4 p.m. for $15. This charge is waived for stays of five days or more.
Is there anywhere I can drop off my luggage for free?
You can store bags at Penn Station for $4 per bag per day if you hold a ticket for train travel.

Or leave baggage in the coat check rooms during opening hours at either the the Walters Art Museum or the Baltimore Museum of Art.

How do I get in?
Watch this video to learn how to operate the keyless lock.

The keyless lock, explained

How do I get my 4-digit code?
You’ll receive a 4-digit code that will unlock the door when you complete reading this House Manual. and send me its Magic Phrase.
Enter this code, but do not press the LOCK icon. (That just relocks the unit.) The deadbolt will retract (give it a second or two).
When you get inside, turn the deadbolt counterclockwise. When you leave, hit the button with the “Lock” icon (but don’t key in any numbers!).
How do I get my WiFi code?
Send me the Magic Phrase!
Should I take off my shoes in the house?
YES if the streets are wet due to rain or snow, please leave wet or dirty shoes to dry out on the mat near the front door. This protects the historic hardwood floors.
If the streets and sidewalks are dry, you can feel free to wear your shoes inside.
Where can I keep my food?
The third shelf in the refrigerator is reserved for your use.
Do you have a safe?

I do not, but you can pick up a small, portable safe from Amazon (here is one with good ratings) and lock it to a fixture in your suite.

Where can I send mail and packages?
The address of Charm City Homestay is reserved for the private use of the homeowner. You should avoid entering it into any shopping cart, work forms asking for your address or anywhere other than on your embarkation form. Packages or mail sent here will be returned to the shipping agent.
You can send parcels from Amazon to the nearest Amazon Locker called “Harboreast” at Whole Foods, 1001 Fleet St.
You may send any other packages, for $10 for a package under 10 pounds, $15 for a heavier package, to:

(Your Name)
c/o Ann’s Store
140 S. Ann St.
Baltimore, MD 21231

Proprietors: Katchi Asharraf and Mac Rimzan. This store is just cattycorner to my home. Phone: 443 909 8361

If you need to enter an address on a work form, please use the Baltimore Main Post Office:

(Your Name)
c/o General Delivery
USPS Baltimore Main Post Office
900 E. Fayette St., Room 118
Baltimore, MD 21233-9715

When must I check out?
11 a.m. *firm.* You will need to be up, packed and out of the house — not just the room! — by this time.
Any tasks you'd like me to do as part of check out?
Not really! I strip the beds myself, so don’t worry about that. If you could hang up your towels to dry, either on the shower rod, or towel hooks (somewhere in the bathroom, and not on a chair or chaise lounge or bed), that would be awesome, and turn off any a/c unit or room heater you have on.
What is the fee for a late checkout?
If you depart any time after 11 a.m., the late departure fee is $25.

The Magic Phrase

Click here!
Rise & Conquer

A free extra bottle of water if you know who Rise & Conquer are, or can use this phrase in a sentence! And wow, we are getting a LOT of very witty winners!!

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