Beijing expats Jim Spear & Liang Tang acquired a peasant’s house in Mutianyu Village nearly two decades ago after a serendipitous encounter with villager Li Fengquan on the Great Wall.
In 2005 Jim & Liang moved to live here full-time and Mayor Li Lianting encouraged them to give something back to the community. Along with old friends Julie Upton-Wang & Peiming Wang they leased Mutianyu’s abandoned primary school and turned it into a restaurant and art glass studio.
Today The Schoolhouse has grown into a comprehensive lodging and dining destination with venues around Bohai Township. We’ve welcomed guests from more than 100 countries to our little corner of China for meetings, events, sightseeing, getaways, and homemade food.
We hope you’ll visit us soon!
The Brickyard preserves an important part of China’s rural outposts while injecting modern comforts to create simple and luxurious boutique accommodation near the Great Wall of China.
How did it start? Huairou District was a center for producing the glazed tiles used in palaces and temples in Imperial times, and our kiln was originally established in the 1960’s during the Cultural Revolution as a village industry.
When we first discovered the site in 2006 it had been virtually run into the ground by a villager employing a crew of migrants from Sichuan. Thick black coal smoke billowed from the nine chimneys whenever there was a firing, and while rubble and trash were strewn everywhere, the tiles were magnificent.
Today, the Brickyard is no longer a smoke belching tile factory but a resort striving to be a sustainable operation conscious of both our environment and our community.
The Brickyard features 25 guestrooms in our main building and 9 luxury homes scattered throughout our villages perfect for couples, families and groups.
As part of our commitment to offering a peaceful refuge, our guest rooms don’t have televisions or phones and they are open to nature with uncurtained clerestory windows and skylights. Of course, free wireless internet is everywhere throughout our venues for those who must stay connected.
Like our other Schoolhouse projects, the Brickyard uses existing footprints and village structures which were delicately restored to create unique spaces for sophisticated travelers to relax and enjoy the Chinese countryside at the foot of the Great Wall. Here, original architecture prevails. From restored kilns used as Game Rooms and offices used as the gathering spaces.
The Brickyard homes are all based on local houses leased from villagers. We preserved the existing footprints and reused salvageable materials in the build-out, and finished each home with modern interiors, finishings and facilities resulting in a unique experience where guests are immersed in an authentic village community, the rural face of today’s vibrant China.
Pets are not allowed anywhere on the premises of the Brickyard Retreat. Thank you for your understanding. However, some of our Homes do permit dogs. Please refer to our Homes Page.
“Perfect for a Great Wall visit tagged on to the end of a business trip. The resort is located in a village just below China’s most famous structure, with uninterrupted views of the Wall from every room – and a skylight to view the stars.”
– Business Traveller, December 2011