A police station in Hong Kong’s Lantau Island, built in 1902, has received a new lease on life as the nine-room Tai O Heritage Hotel.
Its site on the headland of a fishing village – renowned for producing pungent shrimp paste – was once deemed a strategic location to monitor the movements of local pirates and repulse them should they launch attacks.
Awarded a Grade II Historic Building rating by the city’s Antiquities Advisory Board in 2010, the two-storey colonial style building was revitalised and made functional again by the Hong Kong Heritage Conservation Foundation, a non-profit organisation set up by the Ng Teng Fong Family, which has also restored treasured landmarks such as The Fullerton Hotel, The Fullerton Waterboat House, Clifford Pier and Far East Square, all in Singapore.
Rooms a century ago that were designated as “report room”, “armoury”, “charge room” as well as two cells, canteen, kitchens, laundry room and sleeping quarters of the superintendent, commander and their men have been transformed into four airy suites and five cosy standard guestrooms (two for physically challenged visitors). Original features have been retained where possible, for example some fireplaces, the turret, canons and a searchlight.
A striking contemporary touch is the glass roof constructed over a new section called the Tai O Lookout, which serves as the main dining area and provides panoramic ocean views throughout the day.
Those who wish to inspect this historic gem can do so from March 1 to 20, 2012 when free guided tours are offered daily. Booking starts after this period, starting from HK$1,380 (US$178), twin occupancy and excluding breakfast.
For more details, visit www.taioheritagehotel.com
Margie T Logarta