Sitting approximately 45 minutes from Beijing's city center, in the small village of Beigou, Brickyard is an extraordinary boutique retreat with just 34 rooms and private houses. It was once a factory producing glazed tiles and is full of character.
At a Glance
A unique and historic boutique hotel that has been lovingly restored
Offers authentic village experiences, less than an hour from Beijing
The property offers fantastic activities that suit both couples and families. Choose from cycling, hiking, visits to local families, walks through the kitchen garden and even the Great Wall
Its location means easy access to a quieter part of the Great Wall
The rooms are stylish and sympathetic; some even look out over the Great Wall
The 'houses' are perfect for families or groups traveling together
Owned and run by Jim and Liang, Brickyard offers the perfect opportunity to experience authentic village life and The Great Wall, just 45 minutes from the center of Beijing.
The property is completely unique; it was once a glazed tile factory and schoolhouse that has been completely restored and transformed. Jim and Liang only discovered the property in 2006 and ever since they have been painstakingly resorting it to what is now an incredibly special boutique hotel. The design is very natural and blends brilliantly into the surroundings and it has an exceptionally cosy and authentic feel.
The property features 25 rooms in the main house and nine 'houses' that are scattered throughout the village, perfect for families and small groups traveling together.
The rooms are wonderful with glassy double height windows, exposed brick, crisp linens and open bathrooms. Some have private terraces and views over the Great Wall.
The Brickyard Lodge is at the heart of the hotel, offering locally sourced and hearty country style cuisine that's served all day long. Don't expect fine dining cuisine here, but do expect comforting food such as pork dumplings, pan fried steak, and grilled trout. Food is normally served in the dining area, lounge or out on the terrace.
For those who want to relax there are two spa treatment rooms, an outdoor Jacuzzi and yoga platform. However, most come for the village experiences. These very non-commercial activities run by the hotel, offer the chance to meet local families and learn the very traditional way of life. There are also numerous hikes, biking trips and visits to the Great Wall at Mutianyu. This section of the wall is far less crowded than nearby Badaling or Juyongguan.
Brickyard is a fantastic option for those who enjoy truly unique accommodation and want to experience a more traditional side of China.
There are 25 rooms and nine houses at Brickyard. The 25 rooms in the main building are simple but sophisticated, retaining lots of the original character and charm. There are no TVs, just beautiful floor to ceiling windows, contemporary bathrooms and crisp comfortable beds. The Superior Queen is the lead in room; these are a little on the small side when compared with the others but are perfectly light, airy and comfortable. The Deluxe Queen have large private terraces with views over the Great Wall. There are also two larger suites; the Sleeping Buddha and Chairman's Suite.
The nine houses all vary and are scattered around the village; these are all wonderful and characterful and ideal for families. Most of them sleep between five and ten people, and are normally a five to ten minute walk from the main hotel.
Brickyard is a fantastic option for families due to the flexibility of the 'houses' on offer. Jim and Liang also have a huge commitment to children and their learning. The property is full of games, there are good snacks and children's menus and the excursions on offer are well suited to families and children. However, we wouldn't necessarily recommend it for families with younger children and babies, as there are no specific facilities for them.
Location & Directions
The Brickyard is located approximately 1 hour northeast of central Beijing and is just 1.3km from the Mutianyu entrance to the Great Wall. The hotel is located in the wonderful village of Beigou, whereas The Schoolhouse is in nearby Mutianyu Village.
When to go
Beijing enjoys four distinctive seasons owning to its humid continental climate, ranging from very warm during the summer: 28ºC to 38ºC, to chilly and dry during the winter: -10ºC to 10ºC. Fall (September to early November) is the optimal season to visit Beijing as the weather is gorgeous and fewer tourists are in town. In winter, it’s glacial outside (dipping as low as -20°C) and the northern winds cut through the city. Arid spring is OK, apart from the awesome sand clouds that sweep in from Inner Mongolia and the static electricity that discharges everywhere. Spring also sees the snow like liuxù (willow catkins) wafting through the air and collecting in drifts. From May onwards the mercury can surge well over 30°C. Beijing simmers under a scorching sun in summer (reaching over 40°C), which also sees heavy rainstorms late in the season. Maybe surprisingly, this is also considered the peak season, when hotels typically raise their rates and the Great Wall nearly collapses under the weight of marching tourists. Air pollution can be intolerable in both summer and winter.