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Reviews (452)
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Reviewed 6 May 2012

Our stay here was perfect. The rooms are great, the service flawless. But it is more than a superb hotel. This is an extraordinary model of integration into the local community.

Western investment is pouring into urban China and young people are being drawn away from their communities. So local areas such as this need investment to avoid their populations ageing into oblivion. As other have noted on this page (see BeeGirlNC) even having a wonder such as the Great Wall on the doorstep doesn't necessarily translate into a strong local economy if the infrastructure isn't there.

Jim and his wife are active in this and numerous other local projects in partnership with the local government (restaurant, housing etc). They want to make Mutianyu a place where young local people live and work. Staying here supports this concept.

:) Even if the concept isn't important to you, do yourself a favour - stay at this magical place! :)

Room Tip: In our opinion it's worth an extra 20 Euros to get the view from one of the Deluxe Rooms
  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Claire G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 April 2012

I had read about the Brickyard and School House in an in-flight magazine several years ago. My expectations were exceeded from the moment of my first enquiry. Lauren Tang Spear, the daughter of the man who concieved the concept was prompt in her replies and provided detailed and helpful information along the way (including wonderful directions for a walk between Teh Brickyard and School house for dinner.

The room was immaculate and a delight, the service was impecible, from the driver who picked me up from the airport (although he could have used a clear sign :) to the chef and hostesses. I was only dissappointed that my time only allowed one night.

This style of accomodation would be well suited to family, groups of friends or couples (it is very romantic). For the business traveller or solo traveller looking for a little peace and quiet.

There has been criticsm of the food served at the School Yard for being Western. I want to strongly disagree. I have been in China for 2 weeks and eaten almost exclusively Chinese food for that time. I was in the mood for a change and the Burger I ate at Brickyard was quite seriously the best I have ever had in my life. I dont eat burgers often but this was tender, and perfectly cooked with a gentle BBQ flavour. The side salad was crisp and tasty. There is nothing wrong with eating Western food on vacation, after all we eat Chinese, Thai, Mexican, French, Italian and all types of food at home, why would we only eat one Cuisine abroad.

Cheers to Lauren and her parents for a wonderfully executed eco friendly venue. I look forward to the new developments in future.

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled solo
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2  Thank Kathleen L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 April 2012

Going to the Great Wall is a bit of a trek from Beijing. So, the usual experience is that you spend a couple hours hiking up, take a bunch of pictures, buy some souvenirs and return home. Taking friends who had just arrived in China after a long journey, I wanted a place that where we could all relax and enjoy seeing the wall as well.

That is what the Brickyard promised and delivered. It is a truly lovely haven in a small, thriving village about a mile from the entrance to Mutianyu. With the wall as a back drop, it offers the exterior image of a traditional Chinese building with the luxury of a contemporary setting. We loved it.

The rooms were beautiful with comfy beds, flagstone floors and exposed brick walls and delivered the promised view through a glass wall facing the mountains. Too bad the weather was too chilly to enjoy the private enclosed patios. The teenagers in our party were absolutely thrilled to find iPod docking stations in their room. It was their idea of perfection--a view of the Wall with music accompaniment.

The lodge offered free beverages and cookies provide and a great place for all of us to relax and chat. They also provided a top-notch Western B&B style breakfast. For dinner, we asked for a recommendation for a nearby Chinese restaurant. We got that along with suggestions for our meal which was terrific.

The grounds and spa were beautiful. Unfortunately, we didn’t plan time for the spa, but should have. The bilingual staff was wonderfully helpful. Overall, a wonderful experience.

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with friends
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1  Thank BeeGirlNC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 April 2012

We stayed here in April with another family - 4 adults, 4 children total. Stayed in the largest house - Persimmon Court. As advertised it was an older (not sure how old) brick village structure with traditional Chinese tile roof that had been renovated inside to create a condo hotel style unit. The house provided plenty of sleeping accommodations for all of us. Beds were a bit firm Asian style, but comfortable enough for westerners. The weather was a bit cool and the primary heating source was in-floor heating, which worked well in some rooms, but not in others. We were told to be careful about not taking long hot showers/not too many people at once, but did not encounter any problems. Only TV was in a "family room" type room on one of the lower levels - which we actually liked (but alas mobile phone signal was good). Kitchen was large with european style oven, American style fridge. So here are the lessons learned:
* the great wall view is nice, but it's only from the roof-top deck, only visible in good weather, and off in the distance - you're not right at base of mountain. You are about 15-20 minute walk from entrance to the popular chair lifts up to the wall.
* there is only one tiny store in the village and the owner only speaks Chinese - but with the large kitchen, this place would work best if you came prepared with food/supplies from the city for the time you will stay
* the "canteen" (restaurant) at the main building had a very limited menu, very limited hours, and food tended towards western. Quality was very good - just very limited service.
We would do this again - but I'm also told by our Beijing friends that there are many renovated vacation homes in the mountains in the area, so if you have local connections you may want to look around at the options.

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with family
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Thank NCHKCA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 April 2012

A fantastic place to kick off our holidays in China. Location is great and many walks are possible from the Brickyard---from the very easy:walks in the village; to moderate: walk to the next village for fishing(and eating); to the nearly impossible: up onto the Great Wall!
Very friendly staff and food is fantastic! Note: they only serve western, so not a place for trying out local food.
And if I must find fault, I think a door of some sort for the toilet in the bedroom would be great.

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank Nelson T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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