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Reviews (451)
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Reviewed 23 June 2012

Recently I spent two nights with my family at Persimmon Court which is a house that is part of the school house rental program. The house was well appointed including a gas grill that we used to bar-b-que at night and then eat out on the deck that overlooked the village. The house was a short walk from the entrance to the wall. My three boys ages 9,7, and 4 loved the whole experience. The house is across the street from the school house restaurant which was convenient for grabbing a beer, latte, or quick snack.

  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled with family
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Thank Joan P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 June 2012

A friend who had lived in Beijing suggested that, at the end of our week's visit to that hectic city, we might appreciate a quiet, picturesque retreat near the Great Wall. That is the Brickyard: manicured lawns, blossoming plants, fountains and pools, and a view of the Wall and the mountains. It's a small place (which is great for peace and quiet) but not so small that it is too rustic or basic. Quite the contrary; it's spotlessly clean and has amenities like a jacuzzi (also with a view of the Wall) and some good white wine and beer. The rooms are modern and spare with good, strong showers with plenty of hot water. (We didn't need it in May, but our room also had air-conditioning.)

The staff were friendly and attentive and yet let us be while we read our books. The food at the lodge and the associated Schoolhouse restaurant is basic Western ("comfort food" such as hamburgers or Italian pastas) but there's a good Chinese restaurant nearby and the Brickyard staff are happy to make reservations there, too.

There are free minibus shuttles that will take you to the Schoolhouse, the Wall, and other places. The hotel will also make arrangements for a car to pick you up in Beijing and take you back (800RMB each way); we used that service and I think we'd recommend it since the drive requires some very small roads.

I'd go back to the Brickyard in a heartbeat (although it's a long, long way from home).

(PS: If you're feeling really luxurious and have the cash, the new Chairman's Suite looks like it's a really good value for the money; we just didn't have the money this time. Maybe next time....)

Room Tip: We had the Sleeping Buddha room, which has a view of the mountains. All the premium rooms appear to have small private courtyards that look nice.
  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank fionabert
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 May 2012

Lovely setting and views but many of the guests including us were distressed by the absence of doors on the toilets. The owner/designer Jim Spear said, 'We get a lot of French guests who love this.'

Well, I'm not French and I didn't love it. 'We make it clear on our website,' Mr Spear said. Silly me, I'd interpreted 'open bathrooms' as a bath in the room; not a toilet on a platform behind the bed.

There were glass doors on the Ladies' room, but it would only have been possible for a midget to actually close them. And there was a window open to the outside which I only realised was a public area when a man gave me a wave.

There was also noise from construction work which we weren't warned about in advance, and builders directly opposite our room, who could have watched us if they hadn't been too busy making a racket.

The food was bland and over-priced and some of the staff were aggressively friendly which is not compatible with the aims of a retreat. Only one of the Chinese staff spoke English, and none of the American staff spoke Mandarin, so communication between them was almost comical; but frustrating for guests who don't understand Mandarin.

Despite the weirdness, we had a lovely time!

莫莉

Room Tip: Ask them in advance to attach a door to your toilet. Check if there will be construction noise audible from your room.
  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank VivLash
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
jimatmutianyu, Owner at Brickyard Retreat at Mutianyu Great Wall, responded to this reviewResponded 27 May 2012

Dear ChinaGirlX, Your review misrepresented the content of the conversation I conducted with your husband about the Brickyard's design and unfairly made me seem flippant. I've checked with our team and I know that how you've reported on other experiences here is also suspect. You should really be ashamed of yourself for headlining your review the way you did.

We do our best to serve all of our guests with warmth and understanding, perhaps especially those who drag their unhappiness through our doors -- so I'm not surprised you would still say you had a lovely time with us. I am very sorry that the Brickyard's style, service, and food were not to your taste and wish you happier travels in the future, Jim Spear, Partner

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 May 2012

My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed our mini-vacation (one day) at the Brickyard Inn. Out room was esthetically pleasing and comfortable in all respects. The staff was terrific from when we arrived until when we left. We recieved good suggestions for our hike up to the Great Wall and enjoyed interesting conversations at the end of the evening while we relaxed with a beer and glass of wine at their very pleasant bar.

After our hike we had dinner the Schoolhouse – part of the same Eco Retreat. We savored wonderful gazpacho, perfectly cooked sturgeon and duck comfit. Sitting in the courtyard of the Schoolhouse, looking up at the mountains (after a day hiking through them) was quite special. Our morning’s breakfast at the Brickyard maintained the high standards of the previous night’s dinner.

We enjoyed our brief visit so much that we strongly hope to return.

Room Tip: We paid a little extra for a "deluxe" queen. I don't know how the standard queen would have compared, but we enjoyed a lovely patio outside out our room with a great view of the mountains.
  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Charles W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 May 2012

Four of us spent Mothers' Day weekend there and loved every minute. Free transfers by mini-bus to the Great Wall was an added bonus. Friendly helpful staff and great buffet breakfasts, Only negative was a recommendation to go to the Schoolyard for a "Fine Dining" evening, which was an expensive and disappointing experience. Have already recommended these accommodations to friends who are based in Beijing for the next 6 months,

  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Ian F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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