2012 | Tai O Heritage Hotel Opens to Promote Heritage Conservation and Sustainable Tourism in Hong Kong
27 February 2012

Graded as a Grade II historic building by the Antiquities Advisory Board in 2010, the Old Tai O Police Station, built in 1902, is revitalised and converted into Tai O Heritage Hotel, in celebration of the timeless local cultural heritage. The Opening Ceremony was staged today, with The Honourable Mr Donald Tsang, GBM, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Mrs Carrie Lam, Secretary for Development, and Mr Daryl Ng, Director of Hong Kong Heritage Conservation Foundation Limited (HCF), officiating at the ceremony amid the momentous mock cannon salute to mark the new chapter of this historic building in the charming fishing village, conserving its unique architectural features, while modern interventions were tastefully inserted, manifesting a design flair.


At the opening ceremony, Chief Executive Mr Donald Tsang said: “The ‘Revitalisation’ of Old Tai O Police Station contributes to the heritage conservation, community development and tourism of Tai O. It helps promote Tai O as an exclusive cultural destination for both local and overseas visitors.


“I wish this project can continue to engage the public in bolstering Tai O’s economy and achieve synergy with other local facilities. In addition to promoting heritage conservation, tourism and green living, this project is expected to preserve Tai O’s unique cultural tradition and give Hong Kong people and overseas tourists an impressive experience.”


The ‘Revitalisation of Old Tai O Police Station’ is one of the six projects under Batch I of the Development Bureau’s Revitalising Historic Buildings Through Partnership Scheme, conserving the 20th century colonial building and combining the beauty of Chinese and Western architectural styles. It engages the community to the appreciation towards heritage conservation. The project contributes to the sustainable development of Tai O tourism through a series of tailor-made eco-tours and cultural experience tours. Running as a non-profit social enterprise, the Hotel has a gross floor area of 1,170 sq m, with nine colonial-style rooms and suites, establishing a publicly-accessible Heritage Interpretation Centre, an exhibition area displaying the history of the former police station and that of Tai O people, and Tai O Lookout, a glass-roofed restaurant featuring Tai O specialties, which serves as a platform to showcase Hong Kong and Tai O artists’ ingenious creations. Free guided hotel tours are offered daily. Delve into the charm of the revitalised heritage hotel from 1 to 20 March, during which open house visits will be organised.


To establish a close connection between this historic site with the community and the people in Tai O, the Hotel provides employment opportunities and training to Tai O residents. Among the 16 full-time and 4 part-time staff, about half are Tai O natives.


To commemorate the 110th anniversary of the Old Tai O Police Station, Hong Kong Heritage Conservation Foundation collaborates with Community Project Workshop and Architectural Conservation Programme of Faculty of Architecture, The University of Hong Kong, to publish the “Old Tai O Police Station: The Evolution of a Centenary Monument”.


About Old Tai O Police Station

Constructed in 1902, the Old Tai O Police Station originally housed policemen posted at Tai O to combat pirates who roamed the surrounding waters. As crime rates declined over the years, it ceased to operate as a police station and functioned as a patrol post from 1996 to 2002. Tai O Police Station is a two-storey colonial style building which once contained a report room, armoury, a charge-room, two cells and dormitories for officers. There was also an extension block built in 1962 which contained a canteen, kitchens, a laundry room and dormitories.


About Hong Kong Heritage Conservation Foundation

The Hong Kong Heritage Conservation Foundation is a non-profit organisation set up by the Ng Teng Fong family in March 2008. The primary objectives of the company are to revitalise and maintain heritage buildings, as well as to promote the conservation and appreciation of heritage and historic places and their importance in the life of the community. The management team of the organisation has solid experience in heritage revitalisation and participated in a number of heritage projects in Singapore, including The Fullerton Hotel, The Fullerton Waterboat House, Clifford Pier and Far East Square.


The Old Tai O Police Station Revitalised Tai O Heritage Hotel Shines

Converted from the Old Tai O Police Station, Tai O Heritage Hotel is a unique and revitalised heritage hotel, with a gross floor area of 1,170 sq.m. The Old Tai O Police Station was constructed in 1902 as a remarkable example of colonial architecture, and it was graded as a Grade II historical building by the Antiquities Advisory Board in 2010.


The Old Tai O Police station was a three-part compound with 20th century flavours: a two-storey main building, its surrounding facilities and an outhouse extension, all of which were typical colonial architecture. The revitalisation project has been conducted following the authoritative conversation guidelines "The Burra Charter", the revitalised Tai O Heritage Hotel preserves the classic touches of colonial literature, as the original elements as cannons, searchlight, guard towers have been restored.


Tai O Heritage Hotel offers nine colonial-style guest rooms with sea view, conserving the spirits of Old Tai O and Old Tai O Police Station. The guest rooms are named after Tai O landmarks, officers' titles at the Old Tai O Police Station and the Marine Police vessels.