The Commune’s collection of modern villas sits nestled in a green valley about 80km outside central Beijing. For those looking to splurge on a retreat from Beijing’s bustle, the Commune combines beautiful scenery with striking architecture and award-winning service.
The Commune began as twelve unique modernist houses, each designed by a different Asian architect. The contemporary designs, with their sleek angles and sharp silhouettes, stand out from the verdant hillside while still complimenting the valley’s natural beauty. Large windows, sweeping porches, and rooftop patios make every house feel open and airy.
Due to rising demand, the Commune has since duplicated the original designs; now, a total of 42 villas sprawl across the valley. Each has several private bedrooms and a common living room and kitchen, stocked with complimentary sodas and water. Couples can rent an individual room for privacy, or families can rent out an entire villa.
Room rental includes access to the Commune’s clubhouse which has two restaurants (one Chinese, one Western), a bar, a gym, and a private cinema that can be reserved for up to 40 guests. Hungry families can feast on the full Western breakfast while admiring sweeping views of the valley, or satisfy their late-night cookie craving – the kitchens are open until midnight. Kid-friendly fare includes macaroni and cheese, spaghetti, burgers, salads and French fries. Vegetarian options are also available.
At the Foot of the Great Wall
Situated next to the Shuiguan section of the Great Wall, the Commune is the only hotel in the world with private access to one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Though the resort lies near the Badaling Expressway, the scenery is nothing like the over-developed Badaling section of Great Wall. An easy 20-minute hike along the Commune’s private path, behind the original villas, takes guests to the top of the wild Shuiguan wall. Once there, hikers can take in breathtaking views of the surrounding valleys. Serious hikers can continue along the Wall, but this un-restored section with treacherous stairs is not suitable for small children.
In addition to the Great Wall hike, there are plenty of other outdoor activities. The Commune organizes day trips including horseback riding, golfing, and sightseeing.
Far enough from Beijing to be virtually smog-free, the Commune also has several outdoor dining options and a gorgeous outdoor pool. Bring the kids for a dip in the pool and enjoy a tasty lunch at the poolside café. There is also an option to takeaway.
Need a few hours to yourself? Leave the children (ages 3-12) with the Commune’s Kids’ Club. Fully trained staff will tend to your little ones as they roam around the playroom, library and pool. Daily activities will keep them entertained, from cooking class to arts and crafts. Infant care is also available.
This is the kind of resort where the staff will (for an extra price) find anything and everything you ask for. Don’t like the room service menu? Call down to the concierge and they’ll get the kitchen to whip up something special. Don’t feel like walking up a hill to get to your room? The Commune provides free car service throughout your stay. Other options include arranging a telescope for stargazing, picnics on your villa’s private porch, and custom butler service.
Besides weekend retreats, the Commune’s villas and main clubhouse are available for weddings, press conferences, private parties, or any other event you could dream up. Whether you’d like a catered party for 500 of your closest friends, a romantic getaway for two, or a fun-filled family weekend, the Commune will accommodate you and your family.
Commune by The Great Wall Kempinski
Daily 9.30am-4.30pm. The Shuiguan Great Wall exit on the Badaling Expressway, Yanqing County
(8118 1888, firstname.lastname@example.org) www.commune.com.cn/en