Tai O Heritage Hotel
Within an hour, travelers can transport themselves from the lights and sounds of Central, Hong Kong
, to the green hills and deserted beaches of Lantau Island. Opened in 2012, the Tai O Heritage Hotel encourages guests to immerse themselves in the natural beauty and history of Tai O, a colorful fishing village where stilted houses line the waterways of western Lantau Island. A collaboration between the government and the Hong Kong Heritage Conservation Foundation, Tai O Heritage Hotel was built in the former Tai O marine police station, from which officers defended Hong Kong from pirates for more than 100 years. Three buildings were transformed into nine guest rooms, an interpretation center, and a glass-roofed restaurant, earning the project a UNESCO award for cultural heritage conservation. Historic features such as cannons, guard towers, searchlights, and holding cells, as well as original architectural details like French windows, Victorian granite steps, a Chinese-tiled roof, and century-old fireplaces, were all restored in the process. The hotel also serves regional foods, employs villagers, and gives back to the Tai O community, demonstrating its commitment to celebrating the local culture. Beyond the historic walls of the hotel is a mystical landscape with dozens of butterfly species, Chinese white dolphins, and Hong Kong’s best sunsets.