For a city known more for the shiny, the new and the spectacular, the latest addition to the hotel scene in Hong Kong marks another step in what is being seen by locals as a welcome trend in the city.
The Tai O Heritage Hotel (http://www.taioheritagehotel.com), which began welcoming guests in late March, has been heralded by the Hong Kong Government as a "celebration of the timeless local cultural heritage" which saw the Old Tai O Police Station - built in 1902 - refurbished and re-imaged.
Whereas once the building housed local members of the constabulary - sent to the tiny fishing village on Hong Kong's Lantau island to protect the locals from pirates - it is now open to the discerning traveler, with nine four-star colonial-style rooms available, plus a glass enclosed roof-top cafe that makes the most of the property's prime sea-side position. Room charges have been set between HK$1,380 (163 euros) and HK$2,300 (270 euros).
The renovation of the former police station is part of the "Revitalising Historic Buildings Through Partnership Scheme" which saw the 2009 opening of the only other "heritage hotel" in Hong Kong, Heritage 1881 (http://www.1881heritage.com), which was formally the Marine Police Headquarters on the Tsim Sha Tsui harbor front, built in 1881.
Hong Kong's Chief Executive Donald Tsang was on hand at the formal opening of the property in Tai O, one of the very last traditional fishing villages left in Hong Kong.
"The 'Revitalisation' of Old Tai O Police Station contributes to the heritage conservation, community development and tourism of Tai O while promoting this area as an exclusive cultural tourist destination for both local residents and tourists," he said.