The Tai O Heritage Hotel is a wonderful staycation option for those looking to getaway from the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong. The hotel is tucked away on a small hill at the end of Tai O fishing village. Spending a night at this location makes one feel like cut-away from the rest of the world. And add to that the hotel’s charm that comes from its surrounding natural environment, colonial heritage, and rustic flair.
About The Tai O Heritage Hotel
The Tai O Heritage Hotel was originally built as a police station in 1902 next to the Tai O ferry pier. It was one of the first police stations on an outlying island of Hong Kong to tackle the problems of pirates. Along with fighting crime on the high seas, the police were also deeply involved in solving crime in Tai O village.
However, as crime rates dropped during the late 1990s, the police station ceased to operate. And then in 2009, the Hong Kong Heritage Conservation Foundation Limited revamped the police station into a 9 bedroom boutique hotel. In 2010, the new hotel was classified as a Grade II historic building by the Antiquities Advisory Board.
Today, the Tai O Heritage Hotel preserves the colonial-style architecture and charm of the old police station. In fact, you can still see two holding cells at the reception area.
How to get to Tai O Heritage Hotel
In order to get to Tai O Heritage Hotel, you need to first get to Tai O fishing village.
- Take the ferry from Central Pier No. 6 to Mui Wo.
- Then from the Mui Wo Pier, take bus number 1.
- Or take the MTR to Tung Chung, and at Tung Chung take bus number 11.
- Take the MTR to Tung Chung.
- And then catch bus number 11 from Tung Chung to Tai O.
From Tuen Mun
- There’s a ferry that departs from Tuen Mun Ferry Pier to Tai O via Tung Chung and Sha Lo Wan. The ferry timetable can be found on the Fortune Ferry website.
From Hong Kong International Airport
- Take any Route “S” buses to Tung Chung Town Centre.
- Then catch bus number 11 to Tai O.
- Or take a blue taxi to Tai O village.
Tai O bus stop to the hotel
Once you arrive at the Tai O bus terminus, you can reach the hotel via
- A 20 minute walk through the village, or
- a 2 minute boat ride from the ferry pier.
- Be advised the boats are run by locals and are completely subject to availability.
- Expect to pay around HK$ 20 for a one-way ride.
Although the hotel only has 9 rooms, most visitors come to admire the heritage property and also to dine at its restaurant.
Tai O Lookout Restaurant
The Tai O Heritage Hotel’s restaurant is called Tai O Lookout. Located on the top floor, the restaurant feels like a greenhouse. It has glass walls and a glass ceiling. This provides diners with a 360 degree view of their surroundings. I have to admit, it’s quite beautiful.
During our stay at the Tai O Heritage Hotel we dined at the restaurant at two occasions – lunch and breakfast (which is included in the cost of the room). The lunch is à la carte and honestly was a bit disappointing. We ordered the special fried rice that left us slightly underwhelmed.
However, we soon learned that most of the diners around us had come for the afternoon tea at the hotel. FYI, the afternoon tea at the Tai O Heritage Hotel is very popular.
Breakfast at Tai O Lookout was a different story. The set menu arrived on a large, wooden platter. It was beyond sumptuous! The platter consisted of eggs (3 types), sausages, bacon, toast, fruits, muffins, dumplings, and a lot more. I have to admit, the breakfast was really good and the restaurant did redeem itself in our eyes.
Although we didn’t go to the restaurant for dinner, we were told that dinner is also a set menu.
Spending a night at The Tai O Heritage Hotel
We checked-in to the The Tai O Heritage Hotel on a Saturday at lunch time. It’s worth noting that the hotel is open to the public between 11 AM and 6 PM everyday. And as it’s a small property, with all these visitors it can more like a museum and less like a hotel. So, till 6 PM it might be advisable to go explore the village, or the Tai O Infinity Pool (like we did).
As we weren’t too pleased with our lunch at the hotel, we decided to eat dinner out. Although restaurants at Tai O fishing village shut by 7:30 PM, there are plenty of amazing restaurants on Lantau that aren’t too far away from Tai O.
We ventured to Tong Fuk to eat at The Gallery, our favourite restaurant on Lantau Island. The bus ride in the evening only took 20 minutes. There are also plenty of restaurants at Cheung Sha Beach, which is a 30 minute bus ride from Tai O in the evening.
When we returned to the hotel at night, we finally felt the peacefulness of our surroundings. The gentle lapping of the waves, the hills in the background lit by the moonlight. No sounds of traffic or people. The hotel itself is beautifully lit at night. We stepped out for a bit to walk along the pier and the hotel’s outdoor patio. It felt so refreshing to be far away from the maddening crowds of Hong Kong. At last it felt like a staycation!
The rooms at the Tai O Heritage Hotel are large and spacious. And that’s by non-Hong Kong standards.
We honestly had no complaints about our room. It had everything that we wanted or could have asked for – on-demand movies, coffee machine, and a massive bathroom.
Glamping at the Tai O Heritage Hotel
The hotel also offers Glamping Experience Package (glamour + camping) options for guests. It essentially involves spending a night in a luxury tent. You can check out the glamping package details (and other packages) on the hotel’s website.
Waking up at the Tai O Heritage Hotel felt so blissful, like we were on vacation. When we opened our window blinds, we were greeted by the mountains and the sea. As the hotel doesn’t allow guests till 11 AM, we had it all to ourselves. And like I already mentioned, the breakfast added to that luxurious vacation like feeling.
After breakfast I walked down to the pier to admire the ships and boats passing by. There were just two other local fishermen who were at the pier at that time. It was very calming to have the pier to myself on a beautiful morning.
The Tai O Heritage Hotel is a unique property. Not only because of its colonial roots, but also the location. Its remoteness and history really add to the staycation’s charm. And perhaps that’s why it’s almost impossible to book a room. A word of advice, book well in advance.
The Tai O Heritage Hotel is unlike any other hotel in Hong Kong. I would highly recommend spending a night at this unique, boutique hotel, or at least stopping by for afternoon tea the next time you’re at Tai O fishing village.