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“Lessons learned staying at the Schoolhouse at Mutianyu” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Brickyard Retreat at Mutianyu Great Wall

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Brickyard Retreat at Mutianyu Great Wall
Yingbeigou Village, Beijing 101405, China (Huairou Scenic Resort)   |  
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Hotel amenities
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Exclusive Free Massage
Ranked #4 of 672 Beijing B&B and Inns
4.5 of 5 stars 199 Reviews
Senior Contributor
49 reviews 49 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Lessons learned staying at the Schoolhouse at Mutianyu”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 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, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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199 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (55)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Singapore
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 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, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2012

This is a unique property, one that offers perhaps the greatest luxury for a traveler in China: peace and quiet. I visited in March, and I was happy to get away from the frenzy of Beijing at spend a quiet evening in front of the fire, chatting with my fellow guests. The next morning I realized I could see the Wall from my room, and I hiked there on a route recommended by the staff. Staying there was one of the highlights of my trip to China, and I can't imagine a better way to visit the Great Wall.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Shanghai, Shanghai, China
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2012

This hotel was a pleasure to stay at, from the moment we walked in. Staff were friendly and helpful, facilities were great and we had been well-informed about facilities well before we arrived. We had a great experience at The Brickyard!

Room Tip: Rooms with the best view of the Great Wall are in Block 1, although they are a bit pricier. Well wo...
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2012

Positives: car to and from Beijing came on time, the inn's architecture and location is great (you have a view of the wall from your terrace/bed), Easter brunch was great and the staff put in a lot of effort to make it nice

Negatives: management of staff. There's only one person in charge of everything, Lauren. She picks up a call while talking to us during check in. She has to be the one to take us to our rooms too so we didn't get to our room until 4pm. The other members of staff work very hard but lack training. Our room got flooded, the technician came to unblock it and left the wet rag and footprints on the floor. I rang their helpline number (there's no front desk) and that wasn't working too. I had to walk to the Lodge. The manager on duty was also taking orders of food from people. She said the technician won't clean it because its not his job. She sent one of the waiters to appease me. He came and used tissue paper to wipe the floor clean. The internet was down the following day and again it wasn't sorted until we left.

overpriced: We tried all of their 3 places, the noodle place, Schoolhouse and The Lodge. They sell a bowl of fried rice for 100RMB, a bowl of noodles for 70RMB and a bottle of water for 22RMB. The peddlers on the Great Wall sell them for 10RMB and I thought that was bad considering you can buy them for 2RMB. They take advantage of the fact that people are stuck on the wall with not much choice. At dinner time, we ate at the Lodge. They have around 15 things on the food menu. Both things we chose were not available. It took them 20 minutes to tell us they cannot serve burgers because they've ran out of burgers. So we ended up with a 100RMB fried rice.

It was nice to have experienced it once. I really hope they improve the service because it is a great place but it needs better management. I've read comments from 2010 about their service and Jim Spear said they're working on it but its 2012 now.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
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 review, April 10, 2012
Dear Irene B, This is Jim Spear. We appreciate your frank review. You stayed with us on our Easter package, which included roundtrip private transfers from Beijing, a night in the Brickyard, homemade buffet breakfast in the lodge, complimentary local transportation, complimentary coffee, tea, soft drinks (including Laoshan water in glass bottles -- we don't serve plastic bottled water), and cookies throughout your stay, and the Schoolhouse Easter Brunch (which I'm glad to know you enjoyed) for two people for Rmb 1,988. We feel our prices for lodging and food are commensurate with the cost of delivering our product, which is a stay in a very small and intimate retreat with extensive gardens away from crowds. The cafe in the Brickyard is not open to the public and does offer a limited menu. We happily help guests arrange meals at a variety of local restaurants if they prefer something else; no one is forced to dine in any of our venues. Our multi-tasking team is trained to deliver a casual but very warm and friendly style of service that nearly all of our guests seem to appreciate. We received a full report on your public complaints from our duty manager. Clearly, the shower fix should have been handled better and you should have been told immediately about an out of stock menu item. It was your experience that alerted us the lodge phone extension was out of order. Regarding the no-charge and no-password wireless internet, I used it myself with no problem at the Brickyard on both Saturday and Sunday so I'm not sure what issue you encountered. In any case I am truly sorry that the inconveniences you encountered seem to have gotten in the way of your enjoyment of the Brickyard. Wishing you safe travels, Jim Spear, Partner
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Bangkok
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 6, 2012

We were looking for a nice weekend away from Beijing, and we chose Brickyard as it conveniently located closely to Bejing, only 1 hour by taxi. We enjoyed the walk through the village, a visit at Mutianya Great Wall, and a hotel free transfer to the Great Wall, was very convenient.
The room is spacious, with open space at a shower area. So it was very nice for a couple. The best thing I like in the room is that I can see the great wall from the room while I was taking a shower. The room has large windows and we enjoyed very much looking at the stars before sleeping.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 6, 2012

Great place to spend the weekend and have a delicious local meal down the road in the village. For those wishing to get some exercise it is surrounded by great walking tracks to the wall and into the local villages. Excellent service by the friendly staff and helpful advice on things to do and see. Always remember to confirm your booking tho as it is devastating to arrive and find you have not got a confirmed booking.

Room Tip: Front rooms are more expensive but the view is worth it.
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Brickyard Retreat at Mutianyu Great Wall

Address: Yingbeigou Village, Beijing 101405, China
Phone Number:
Location: China > Beijing Region > Beijing > Huairou Scenic Resort
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Spa Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 672 B&Bs / Inns in Beijing
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 33
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Brickyard is a lush and private eco-retreat that incorporates the kilns and other buildings of a traditional glazed tile factory in a design which is "green" from the ground up. The 16 queen rooms all have private terraces and story-and-a-half window walls with spectacular views of the Great Wall. Wireless internet but no TVs. Complimentary breakfast buffet and coffee, soft drinks, and homemade cookies all day the Lodge, where casual meals and bar service are also offered. The Activity Center is fully-equipped for conferences. The Brickyard Spa is set in our four-season garden with lotus pond and yoga platform. Enjoy complimentary use of the Exercise Room and the Outdoor Jacuzzi (available May). Try a Chinese massage or relax in the Spa's Gold Suite with Great Wall view sauna, private bath, treatment room, and courtyard with outdoor shower and cold plunge. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Brickyard Eco Retreat At Mutianyu Great Wall Hotel Beijing

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