11 December 2018 – Dedicated to promoting heritage conservation, sustainable tourism and sustainable development of the Tai O community, the UNESCO-awarded Tai O Heritage Hotel hosted its seventh annual Open House on 24 and 25 November 2018, welcoming over 2,000 local and overseas visitors who experienced first-hand the charm and heritage significance of the former Tai O Police Station and Tai O village.
Operating as a non-profit-making social enterprise with all proceeds channelled to support the site and Tai O community, the Hotel sees engaging the younger generation the cornerstone of heritage conservation, and has organised the Young Ambassadors Programme for the third consecutive year.
More than 200 docent tours were conducted by the Young Ambassadors during the Open House. Over 35 university students and teenagers from Tai O and Lantau presented the historical significance of the 116-year-old, Grade II historic building, famed for being classically elegant with a mix of English and Chinese architectural features.
For the first time in Hong Kong, a Tai O-themed model exhibition in collaboration with local brick model enthusiasts has been staged at the Hotel. The impressive collection features the Hotel, landmark stilt houses, traditional Water Marriage and Dragon Boat Water Parade and the unique charm of ‘Venice of the Orient’. The exhibition is on until 6 January 2019.
‘Buildings give the community character and the sense of connection. By preserving buildings of historical value, we breathe new life into old buildings while reinvigorating the broader neighbourhood, preserving the defining stories and memories for the many generations to come,’ remarks Mr Daryl Ng, Director of the Heritage Conservation Foundation.
‘We strive to engage the community in our conservation efforts. Tai O Heritage Hotel is part of the Tai O family, we seek to work with the Tai O community to promote eco-tourism and heritage conservation,’ adds Mr Ng.
Tai O Heritage Hotel, located at Shek Tsai Po Street, Tai O and surrounded by lush greenery, has been transformed from the 116-year-old Old Tai O Police Station built in 1902 and graded as a Grade II historic building by the Antiquities Advisory Board. The hotel is part of Batch I of Hong Kong SAR Government Development Bureau’s Revitalising Historic Buildings through Partnership Scheme. Opened in March 2012 and operated as a non-profit-making social enterprise, Tai O Heritage Hotel provides free guided tours daily for the general public and charitable organisations with the aim of heightening awareness of the conservation of historic buildings. It is now home to nine elegantly decorated rooms, the Heritage Interpretation Centre and the glass-roofed open-view restaurant Tai O Lookout. The Hotel has won the Award of Merit at UNESCO 2013 Asia-Pacific Cultural Heritage Awards and has been voted as ‘Asia’s Leading Heritage Hotel 2016’ in World Travel Awards™. It has received more than 1.2 million visitors and guests since opening.
About the Hong Kong Heritage Conservation Foundation
Hong Kong Heritage Conservation Foundation Limited (HCF) is a non-profit-making organisation established by the Ng Family in March 2008. It identifies and showcases the heritage significance of historical projects in Hong Kong and Singapore. HCF holds the belief that conservation of cultural heritage helps the community to build a sense of identity and strengthen relationships in society. The primary objectives of HCF are to revitalise and conserve historic buildings, and to promote the appreciation and importance of cultural heritage to the community. Directors of HCF are enthusiastic supporters of community initiatives, and possess considerable experience in heritage buildings revitalisation projects. They have been actively involved in many heritage projects, including Tai O Heritage Hotel, The Fullerton Hotel Singapore, The Fullerton Waterboat House, Clifford Pier and Far East Square.