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The Great Wall is not a typical tourist sight, but a long, long wall with many sections, usually in remote (and mountainous) areas. To avoid crowds, especially at popular sections, you are suggested to stay at the foot of the Great Wall for a night and get up early. Here are our recommendations for hotels at some of the popular sections around Beijing.
Mutianyu is the grandest fully-restored Great Wall section open to tourists. There are many local guesthouses and mid-level hotels concentrated in and around Mutianyu Village, at the foot the Great Wall.
Brickyard Retreat at Mutianyu Great Wall is reconstructed from a cultural revolution tile factory by Beijing expats. It aims to provide an environmentally-sustainable and Western-style countryside hotel.
Gubeikou was an important Great Wall pass, one of the most attacked. This section is wild wall, well-preserved and unrepaired. Gubeikou village occupies a valley in the middle of the Gubeikou Great Wall section. Jinshanling, about 5km east of Gubeikou, is the most beautiful section of the Great Wall.
The Great Wall Box House Beijing is a guesthouse featuring modern architecture. Guests can see the Great Wall from its windows.
Juyongguan is the closest Great Wall section to Beijing, just 60 km (37 mi) from downtown Beijing. It was one of the most important forts on the Great Wall. It's wheelchair-friendly in the reconstructed valley-bottom fort area. There are star-rated hotels and family inns near Juyongguan.
The Juyongguan Great Wall Hotel Beijing is a 4-star hotel at the foot of the Great Wall, with classic Chinese-style architecture.
Simatai’s length of Great Wall has a varied and well-preserved construction, with a renowned steep section built on a cliff. Once the Great Wall hiker’s Mecca, it’s recently been developed as the poshest section of Great Wall.
From lovely Gubei Water Town, where the hotels are, you can get to the Great Wall cable car station by foot in 15 minutes. Shuttle buses are available if you don’t want to walk.
Watertown Hotel (水镇大酒店): 5-star standard, equipped with gym, spa, swimming pool, indoor golf, and KTV.
Beijing Water Town Hot Spring Resort (古北之光温泉度假酒店): 5-star standard, equipped with hot spring, SPA, bar, infinity pool, and children’s playground.
Great Wall Academy Inn (长城书舍): a traditional Chinese style inn, equipped with bar and outdoor swimming pool.
Wangjinglou Pavilion Boutique Hotel (望京楼精品酒店): European style hotel, equipped with gym, yoga room, and outdoor swimming pool. It has a nice restaurant that offers amazing Great Wall views.
William Edgar Boutique Hotel (威廉埃德加精品酒店): Equipped with German-style wine bar and outdoor swimming pool
Badaling was the first Great Wall section open to the public as a tourist attraction. It has been developed over half a century, and has the most tourist facilities.
Commune by the Great Wall is a 5-star hotel. It's a private collection of modern-architecture boutique hotels, 200m from the Great Wall at 'Water Pass' (Shuiguan).
The Great Wall at Jiankou is wild wall and less-traveled. You don't need to get to the wall early to avoid crowds. Usually the wall is uncrowded anyway, and you can enjoy hiking anytime.
But if you really want to stay at the village for a night, please note that there are no star-rated hotels; only family inns are available. The family inns feature simple facilities, but are neat and clean. The inns offer food, but only local dishes.
Zhàoshì Shānjū (赵氏山居 /jaoww-shrr shan-jyoo/ 'Zhao Clan Mountain Residence'): This inn attracts many Great Wall photographers, and you can see their pictures on the wall. It's the most popular inn in Xizhazi village, at the foot of the Jiankou ridge. This place is a favorite for Chinese hikers, and not much English is spoken there.
Yáng Èr (杨二 /yang urr/ ' Yang [surname] Two'): Rooms are set around a vegetable-patch courtyard. The owners raise chickens themselves, and you can taste healthy local dishes. The rooms are simple but neat, and some rooms have private bathrooms. No English is spoken there.
If you are planning a Great Wall tour, see our guide to how to plan a Great Wall tour. Or see our recommended tours for inspiration: