On August 22-23, restaurants, businesses, even residential compounds south of the second ring road from Dongzhimen Outer Street to the Forbidden City came to a complete standstill as the military went into full rehearsal for the upcoming parade taking place on September 3. As most roads will be locked down then getting out of town seems like the most favorable option. If you’re from holiday, and are holiday fatigued, which translates to not wishing to book flights then head to these close by yet far enough places we have complied.
Sunrise Kempinski Hotel, Beijing
Located an hour’s drive from the CBD, Sunrise Kempinski Hotel, Beijing commonly referred to as Kempinski Yanqi is an luxurious option to consider. There’s a spa and a kids club for ages 4-12 years. Kids can get the chance to learn a new game, get their faces painted, take cooking classes or golf lessons, and more. The area is opened from Wednesday to Sunday 10am-6.30pm.
Good for: single family
Prices: Depends on the room or suite (Call 6961 8888)
Attractions: Yanshan mountain, hiking at the Mutianyu Great Wall, Yanqi Lake, Hongluo Temple, Yanqi Lake Amusement Park, and water rafting at various locations.
Gubei Water Town
Officially known as Beijing Miyun Gubei Water Town (Simatai) International Tourism Resort is located in Miyun county under the backdrop of the Simatai Great Wall and Yuanyang Lake. The area that has been under renovation since 2010 and was inspired by the historical water Wuzhen Water Town in Southern China. Currently, the area is under soft opening therefore some parts aren’t open to the public apart from the ones listed below and the accommodation area. However, only a few hotels, guesthouses, and B-&-Bs are fully operational and accepting guests. Check Ctrip for a list of the current b-and-b and their rates.
Good for: multi-family groups
Prices: Depends on the type of accommodation
Attractions: the courtyards in the Republic of China, the Water Street, Wolongbao Folk Culture Area, and Tanghe Old Village Area. The closeness to the Great Wall gives visitors hiking options. The water canal has boat rides for a price depending on the type of boat but only some parts are open.
Shan Li Retreats
Situated 90km from Beijing, Shan Li Retreats are breath taking renovated traditional houses offering serene countryside. There are five properties in total: Poshang, Banpo, Qianjia, Shanjiaoxi, and Stone House all located close by each other in the Huangyankou Village. The houses have a living room, fireplace, gardens access, kitchen, and range from one to three bedrooms. The integration of the buildings in the
Good for: Multi-family groups
Prices: RMB 4,500 per night (Poshang); RMB 1,500 per night (Banpo); RMB 3,500 per night (Qianjia); RMB 2,800 per night (Shanjiaoxi); RMB 900 per night per room (Stone House)
Local attractions: Hiking around is the main thing to do with trails marked by the owners.
Commune by the Great Wall
This area was designed by Asian architects and has won numerous architecture accolades, this boutique hotel initially had 12 villas that has now expanded to over 40 villas with replicas of the original 12. There are standard rooms, superior rooms, deluxe room, deluxe suite, Great Wall view, and presidential suites. Three to six guest rooms are located in one villa and people share a common living room.
Good for: multi-group
Price: Only know made available by email
Local attraction: the location has private access to an non-restored section of the Great Wall. To cool off, there’s a pool that has a poolside cafe near. There’s a kid’s club in that’s two floors and has a child-sized kitchen used for the cooking classes, complete with tiny aprons and chef’s hats, Popular Kids’ Republic Library and bookstore that holds regular storytelling in English and Chinese, recreation room with a closed, padded play area for babies, a dress-up corner with national costumes (including a flouncy “Russian” dress, American cowboy outfit, and a diminutive Scottish kilt), and separate TV rooms. Child-care is also offered.
Photo: Courtesy of Kempsinski