It all traces back to 1902, when a permanent marine police station was built on the small hill next to Tai O Ferry Pier, to reinforce the police forces on Lantau Island. As one of the earliest police depot on the outlying islands of Hong Kong, the Old Tai O Police Station was established to combat pirates prevalent in the neighbouring waters. The police also had a community role intoresolving family disputes and arguments between villagers.
Marine police officers patrolled within the community by means of sampan. Due to the declining crime rates, the police station ceased to operate and functioned as a patrol post from 1996 to 2002.
Its restoration came in 2009, when Hong Kong Heritage Conservation Foundation was selected to undertake its revitalisation under Batch I of the Development Bureau’s Revitalising Historic Buildings Through Partnership Scheme. This involved its conversion into a nine-room boutique hotel, the Tai O Heritage Hotel. In 2009, it was graded as a Grade II historic building by the Antiquities Advisory Board, and in 2013 conferred the prestigious UNESCO Award of Merit for Cultural Heritage Conservation.
Visitors, tourists and the Hong Kongcommunity at large can now appreciate the value and significance of this historic building to be closely connected with the spirit of Tai O.