The Brickyard at Mutianyu
Simple in concept, excellent in execution, the Brickyard at Mutianyu is a destination in itself, situated about 90 minutes' drive from downtown Beijing
in a traditional village. Recovered tile pieces form mosaics that pop out from otherwise sterile red brick walls—a nod to the building’s former life as an imperial tile factory. Brickyard has a modern feel, with rustic Chinese elements that allow this hotel to blend in with the surrounding village. The eco-conscious philosophy carries through to the working organic garden on the grounds. The rooms are open-concept, one side composed entirely of floor-to-ceiling windows, with views of the Great Wall extending atop the hills in the distance. Trails used by locals lead right up to the wall (a rather challenging hike), with no guards around to collect entrance fees. The Brickyard Homes, once abandoned peasant homes, have been whimsically restored by the Brickyard owner. They invite Frank Lloyd Wright–esque comparisons for their ability to integrate spare Asian design into a modern context.