120 Years Of Warm Hospitality In Tai O Heritage Hotel
Revitalised from the Old Tai O Police Station, Tai O Heritage Hotel (TOHH) is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, while the Grade II historic building housing the hotel marks 120 years of community making in Tai O. 2022 also marks the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
In commemoration of the meaningful milestones, TOHH is launching programmes celebrating the community and culture, including public art installation, the ‘120-year Tai O Heritage Snap-It Competition’, tailored menu and hospitality offerings. The highlight of the celebrations is the ceremony held on 11 June.
Mrs Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, GBM, GBS, Chief Executive of HKSAR, graced the ceremony as the Guest of Honour, while Mr Bernard Charnwut Chan, GBM, GBS, JP, Convenor of the Non-official Members of the Executive Council; Mr Liu Chun-san, JP, Under Secretary for Development of HKSAR; Mr Randy Yu Hon-kwan, MH, JP, Chairman of the Islands District Council; Mr Ho Siu-kei, Chairman of the Tai O Rural Committee; Mr Philip Liao, Partner of Philip Liao & Partners; Mr Stanley Wong, Chairman of the Tai O Culture Association, and Mr Daryl Ng Win-kong, SBS, JP, Director of the Hong Kong Heritage Conservation Foundation, officiated at the ceremony, during which they enjoyed a curated catwalk by students from CCC Tai O Primary School featuring Tai O’s unique festivities including water wedding, Cantonese opera and dragon boat parade.
Speaking at the ceremony, Mr Daryl Ng thanked Mrs Carrie Lam for the inspiring sustainability initiative and shared his fond memories with the community. ‘On this memorable occasion, I would like to sincerely thank Mrs Lam for driving the conservation effort, the Development Bureau for providing this meaningful platform for us to preserve cultural gems and collective memories for future generations, the teams helping to bring the heritage hotel into life and above all, the Tai O community for the wonderful support over the past decade.’
Since opening in March 2012, TOHH has been operating as a not-for-profit social enterprise with surpluses channelled to maintenance of the site. It has welcomed more than 1.7 million visitors from Hong Kong and overseas. TOHH contributes to the sustainable development of the local economy and eco-tourism through the provision of employment opportunities, engagement of local service providers, use of local ingredients and provision of docent tours. Today, half of its workforce comes from Tai O and Lantau. TOHH has been recognised by local and international communities for its engagement with the community, including an Award of Merit at the 2013 UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation.
‘We are thankful to the Tai O community and friends for the great support on this wondrous journey. We look forward to creating more exciting Tai O stories together,’ adds Mr Ng.
Community programmes and festivities:
The Hong Kong Heritage Conservation Foundation has partnered with CCC Tai O Primary School on the launch of the School Development Programme to support development of students, teachers’ training, school facilities and conservation of natural environment. The Hong Kong Heritage Conservation Foundation launched the Hospitality Young Leaders Programme in 2020, which provides aspiring local graduates with 12 months of comprehensive training in hospitality, eco-tourism and heritage conservation, including stints at Tai O Heritage Hotel. The award-winning programme has been well received, with the third year of programme starting in July 2022.The Hong Kong Heritage Conservation Foundation continues the Tai O Stilt House Restoration Programme, which it initiated in 2018. Through the programme, stilt houses in Tai O are repaired and restored, especially for the elderly, so as to conserve the intangible cultural value of the village. The project has seen ten stilt houses restored and more houses are expected to be restored this year.
TOHH has undertaken a comprehensive renovation of the nine guest rooms to provide visitors with a refreshing and immersive experience.The 10th Anniversary Special AfternoonTea Set, featuring time-honoured dishes with local ingredients and authentic flavours, will be offered as a limited-time offer at HK$120 from 12 June to 30 September 2022.
TOHH has initiated [email protected] O, a public art programme. The two phases see the launch of ten murals at various locations of the village celebrating the beauty and character of Tai O. The third phase was heralded by See Through Tai O, which comprised a paper-cutting-inspired wooden panel and 120 colourful fishes hand-painted by Tai O students and hotel volunteers, and brought joy to the neighbourhood at the Chinese New Year.The ‘120-year Tai O Heritage Snap-It Competition’ will be launched in summer 2022. Twenty winners will enjoy a perfect getaway at TOHH, starting with a warm welcome with pick-up service in the city.
About Tai O Heritage Hotel
Tai O Heritage Hotel, graded as a Grade II historic building by the Antiquities Advisory Board, was revitalised from the old Tai O Police Station, a history-steeped building dating back to 1902. It is now home to nine colonial-style rooms, a Heritage Interpretation Centre and a glass-roofed open-view restaurant Tai O Lookout. Since its opening in 2012, the Hotel has received over 1.7 million visitors. As a non-profit-making social enterprise, Tai O Heritage Hotel is committed to engaging the public in bolstering Tai O’s local economy, achieving synergy with local communities, and promoting heritage conservation, tourism and green living.