Property Location With a stay at Beijing Greatwall Hotel in Yanqing (Badaling), you'll be convenient to Great Wall of China.View More
Our tour group enjoyed a lavish multi-course Chinese lunch here after our walk on the Great Wall. This is a famous stopover for VIP visitors. The lobby of the hotel is taken over by an extensive shopping area. Be sure to bargain.
The biggest highlight of the hotel is it's location and surroundings. Very green and peaceful environment outside the city and with access to a private part of the wall which has no tourists. You can do a short hike through the woods to get there. It's really nice, especially at sunset. The hotel concept is also nice - lots of spread out cottages with good views. Rooms were nice and clean as well - not too flamboyant but more than enough for our needs. Staff were generally quite helpful.
The area of improvement would be
- Easier way to get a shuttle - The property is quite huge and they have shuttles to get around, however, the way of getting one was really inconsistent. For e.g. we'd call the reception for it but then we would never know if or when it would be coming by. Normally we'd not mind walking because the property is quite scenic, but my husband was recovering from an injury at the time and we were dependent on it.
- Food options at the restaurant (they had a western menu but didn't serve most of it while we were there) and the staff at one of the groundfloor restaurant spoke very little English so we had a bit of challenge communicating. Although we were able to work it out eventually.
Overall, I'd definitely recommend the property because the experience is unique but there are improvements that the hotel can make to improve even further.
Commune is a collection of architect designed houses by the great wall. The location is absolutely fantastic - there are few hotels of international standard close to the Great wall (Beijing side). You can hike to the great wall, this is fabulous. The houses are very nice also some start looking tired (some are under renovation I think). There is a nice pool, it is a very special atmosphere and I recommend it if you want a bit more than a bus day trip to the great wall with millions of other people. You can spend a very nice and sporty 2 days there. However service is really so-so and not that friendly and food at the restaurant is average Chinese, and that does not match the price...
We arrived on a Thursday and there is only 1-2 staff at the reception. We were greeted without care and emotion. The room is small and the shower area leaked water whole area outside the shower was soaked with water after a short shower. The shower head cannot be properly held on its stand and I try to fix for 5-10 minutes so I can take a shower.
There is 2 plastic bottle of water in the room, no glass no cups no hot water no tea no nothing.
We asked for 2 plates and a knife and 2 spoons to eat a mango, and they asked for 200 rmb cash for deposit and signature if the borrow note upon delivery of the items. First, a girl brought 2 packs of tissue, then a man brought 2 plates and a knife without the spoons.
At night, we were told there was no western food served because the chef was new and they didn't prepare any ingredients for western food. We paid 400 rmb for a tasteless meal: a bowl of tasteless noodles , a plate of tasteless shrimps and a plate of 4 pork rolls.
The whole night, no matter how I set the temperature to be 16 degrees and air conditioning mode, the room kept blowing out strong heated dry air that woke me up because of heat and dryness. In the end I turned it off.
The next morning, we went to the breakfast area, we were seated at a table where the whole floor was covered with serious food crumbs and garbage. I have to ask the staff to clean it because it is so dirty. She told me a kid sat there before and made it dirty. The breakfast was not pleasant with sad food and drinks.
The only plus of this hotel seems to be the private Great Wall and its location. The buildings are beautifully design and the environment is beautiful, but the service is bad, the management is poor and so it is not a comfortable hotel to be stayed in. Do not consider to come just for a drink or dinner. It is covered with noisy tour groups and poorly trained staff.
We travelled in China for a month and stayed in some of the best hotels (Six Senses, Angsana, Aman - etc) and some hostels on the Wall. This was one of our favourite places. I nearly did not stay here due to the Trip Adviser reviews but i am so glad we did! There were 2 of us but we had a bamboo house to ourselves. The food was great - most of the Chinese guests ignore the menu and have a thing a bit like a fondue with masses of food. We chose off the menu and it was great - maybe some of the reviews below were for tour groups but as 'westerners' we had great food here. The staff could not be faulted either.
We hiked to the private wall at 9am and were the only people on it and it is spectacular - and we had spent a week on the Wall visiting Huanghuacheng, Mutianyu, Gubeikou, Jinshanling so were pleasantly surprised at how good it was.
It was -8 and cold when we set off at end of October & the leaves had gone... it's quite a steep climb so if you are not good at hiking i.e. elderly, or with a hip replacement or similar, don't come here...
Really we could not fault the place. We wished we'd stayed out here longer and gone on the other hike, to the museum etc. Trip Adviser reviews had put us off so we only booked one night but it was lovely in all respects. In hindsight, I;d go for a weekend; arrive Friday late afternoon, have one of the meals the Chinese have - the thing which looks like a major fondue which does not appear on menu. Then on Sat I'd hike up to private Wall & go the Great Wall Museum in the afternoon. Have a massage before dinner. On Sunday I'd go on the other hike from the hotel.. that would be a good weekend. In the Summer, I;d add on another day and go to Longqing Gorge & the Caves for another day. We did this in October and nearly froze to death as the gorge seems to face north - it must have been -20. We were the only people there apart from another hardy Korean family. In the Summer of for the ice festival it would be great addition to a stay at Commune by the Wall.
Truly, from our experience, ignore the reviews below - we had a great time and could not fault the place. Go for it. I can only imagine the comments below apply to groups where the food has been pre-ordered or something.