While hiking the Great Wall in the Chinese countryside, finding a place to spend the night can be a bit of a challenge. However, through a rigorous inspection process, we have discovered the establishments that are best suited for Western visitors. We call these establishments “farmotels” because farmers own these guesthouses and hostels. All of these farmotels are conveniently located at the foot of various Great Wall sections, meaning that the next day you could roll out of bed and get started on your trek. All of these farmotels feature clean beds and sheets, hot water, TVs, and are furnished. Usually, the owners of the farmotel will cook you breakfast and dinner, giving you a fantastic opportunity to try some authentic and traditional rural Chinese dishes.
Before setting foot in any of these farmotels, we have already carefully inspected the rooms, food, and premises for cleanliness, comfort, and safety. Of all the hostels/guesthouses situated near the Great Wall, these are the best ones.
However, due to their rural location, there are a few amenities that are lacking, so we’d like to advise you on bringing some items (especially toiletries) that you would typically use in a hotel. To ensure that your “farmotel” stay is satisfactory, please plan on bringing some of the following: wash towel, shower towel, shampoo/conditioner, toothpaste and brush, mouth wash, toilet paper, dryer, and slippers. If you can think of any items your children might need, it is probably better to bring those.
Utilized by our lodgings (ranging from resorts to hostels) and restaurants, a Great Wall certified establishment means that your lodging/restaurant is up to Western standards regarding safety, comfort, convenience, etc. other amenities that a Western visitor would come to expect. We only use officially approved lodgings/restaurants for our travel programs, and we are continually evaluating and reviewing these locations every year.
Great Wall Adventure Club’s certification program is one of the first of its kind in China. The certification program is meant to ensure quality control. It is yet another way GWAC is making sure that you, the visitor, can get the best travel experience possible. Utilized by our lodgings (ranging from resorts to hostels) and restaurants, a Great Wall certified establishment means that your lodging/restaurant is up to Western standards in terms of safety, comfort, convenience, etc. other amenities that a Western visitor would come to expect. We only use officially approved lodgings/restaurants for our travel programs, and we are continually evaluating and reviewing these locations every year. When you enter a restaurant or hotel/hostel, you will see a Great Wall Adventure Club certificate of approval. If you do not see it, please ask the manager to show you. What makes our rating system so consistent and dependable? We utilize professional evaluators trained in Western hospitality, member feedback, and specific quality standards. Unlike systems that rate properties on a wide-ranging spectrum from low to excellent, Great Wall Adventure Club rates only those restaurants/hotels fully approved for use by Western visitors. Restaurants/hotels do not pay any fees to be approved. Here are the criteria we have established to deem a hotel/restaurant worthy of approval status: Hotels/hostels
To apply for evaluation, the property owners must first meet essential requirements based on Western member expectations — cleanliness, comfort, accessibility, security, and safety. Properties selected for evaluation must prove the strict quality guidelines required to be GWAC Approved.
To apply for approval status, restaurants must first surpass guidelines based on Western member expectations — cleanliness, comfort, accessibility, security, and safety. The food we serve in our three camping sites is mostly organic with poultry fed with vegetables and no added growth hormones.
Restaurants selected for evaluation must prove the strict quality guidelines required to be GWAC Approved. The Approval rating also indicates a satisfactory level of food, décor, and personal service.
Our certification program is designed for the needs of the Western traveler in mind. If at any point, an approved restaurant/hotel does not meet up to your expectations, or if you have any other questions or comments, please contact us for us to review the approval status of your particular establishment.
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