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“Horrible booking experience”

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Tai O Heritage Hotel
Ranked #157 of 719 Hotels in Hong Kong
Certificate of Excellence
Hong Kong, China
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Horrible booking experience”
Reviewed May 11, 2012

We were very excited to have a romantic weekend at the Tai O Heritage Hotel but encountered the same disappointing booking experience that another reviewer experienced. Of course we had not seen the other reviewers comments until after our experience.

We also made an online booking through their website. My husband felt more confident that booking through a person on the phone would be better but when he called the hotel they asked him to go through the website.

After making what we thought was a booking using my husbands credit card details we received what we thought was a confirmation email. So, we assumed all was booked. Then the day we were supposed to check in we called the hotel and they had no booking! We checked again and my husband had received a second mail a day later from the booking mail that said the room we requested was not available....the header for the mail was "Tai O Heritage hotel reserve a room". There was nothing in the header alerting us to the booking itself or that the booking had not even been completed. Most hotel websites do not even let you complete your first transaction without telling you that they have the availability you want! Needless to say we are very disappointed with the experience.

Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
7 Thank lauda7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TaiOHeritageHotel, Manager at Tai O Heritage Hotel, responded to this review, May 28, 2012
Dear lauda7,

Thank you for sharing your feedback on Tripadvisor and I am terribly sorry to hear of your disappointment.

Please accept my sincere apology for the unpleasant booking experience and we have taken your comments seriously in improving our booking process. Please rest assured the issue has been resolved following an implementation of booking engine where guests can check for the real time availability of our hotel.

Thank you again for posting your valued comments and we look forward to the opportunity of welcoming you back in the future.

With warmest regards,
Peary Lee
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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189 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (50)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
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English first
Level Contributor
26 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 116 helpful votes
Reviewed April 28, 2012

One of the biggest Hong Kong tragedies is that its architectural heritage has been lost to modernity. The recently opened Tai O Heritage Hotel is one of the city’s few triumphant heritage preservation projects.The building’s architecture is quintessentially colonial, with Western features (arches) combined with Chinese elements (the tiled roof). located on Lantau island near the border with China. It's about 2 hours from downtown but the one hour bus ride from Tung Chung (bus 11) through the country park is one of the most scenic in Hong Kong

With nine rooms, one restaurant, and a reception desk, this hotel is tiny indeed. It is so popular among locals that it is unlikely you will be able to book a standard room even on weekdays unless you book well in advance. The hotel is really merely a vehicle for its actual purpose—to educate visitors about the building’s history, as well as the history of the neighboring fisher village. Before opening for business, the hotel was opened up to the public throughout March, receiving approximately 16,000 visitors. Now, free tours are given daily (3pm and 4pm), and the entirety of the hotel (except for occupied rooms) remains open to the public.Some guests may find these visitors a nuisance but it is all well kept under control by the young and enthousiastic staff. Each room in the hotel has a plaque that explains its historical use—from inspector’s office to canteen to armory. The reporting room and two holding cells were converted into a reception and a small souvenir shop.

As a non-profit, the hotel spends its income on maintaining the 110-year-old building, and the surplus goes towards local festivals—such as the Deities’ Parade, a parade of boats that visit four temples before the Dragon Boat Festival—and towards the upkeep of buildings throughout the village.

The hotel also aims to support local residents and their businesses, rather than competing with them. For instance, the hotel restaurant highlights local ingredients such as shrimp paste (in a pork bun dish) and mountain begonia (used on top of cheesecakes). While its prices are very reasonable by hotel standards (a plate of Tai O fried rice with shrimps costs around $70), the management makes a point of pricing dishes higher than the local hole-in-the-wall cafes and restaurants, so as to not take away their customers. The hotel also created 103 jobs during renovation, and 20 full-time and part-time jobs upon opening, employing the members of the local community.

The nine five-star rooms start at HK$1,380 for the standard rooms, they benefit from gorgeous high ceilings, muted timber and rattan furniture, and are an illustrative reflection of Hong Kong’s colonial past. Of the nine, four are suites, with a living room and a fire place as an added feature

The glass-roofed restaurant on the second floor reminds us of a greenhouse rather than a restaurant, but it is given character thanks to the wood-carved furniture.

The kinda place you really hate to leave

Room Tip: the Sea Lion suite, named after the 111-feet command vessel built in 1965 at the Taikoo Dockyard, an...
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Crystalperido
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HK
Level Contributor
25 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed April 28, 2012

It was such a great experience that we are already planning our next visit to the hotel.

it is a 9 rooms hotel, converted from a 1902 policy station under the preservation of historic building project. It is no doubt that tremendous effort is made to keep the beauty/feeling of the historic part while ensuring the comfort/facility of any modern hotel.

The enjoyment comes beyond the hotel but also the neighborhood. Tai O Village is a peaceful and scenic fishing village - stilt house, boat ride, traditional pastry are must see/do/eat.

One recommendation is coming on weekday so as to enjoy the true peaceful livelihood of the village. It is a lot easier to book hotel room as well. The second best alternative is staying from Fri till Sat.

We stayed in a suite (1 bedroom with a king-size bed and a living room) which used to be the Barrack Office and Dormitory of the Policy Station . It is spacious and very comfortable.

The hotel is newly opened in Q1 2012 and hence the staff are "new handed". But their friendliness and helpfulness is top class.

We enrolled in a cultural tour organized by the hotel. It was cancelled due to thunderstorm (as the tour is mostly outdoor). However as the weather improved 1 hr later, the Hotel agreed to our request to begin the tour. The original tour guide was unavailable. But Erica, Hotel's Operation Manager, served as the "stand-in" tour guide. It is really great having her to show us around. Her grandma and uncles are staying in Tai O Village. Hence although she is not growing up in the Village, she knows it well enough. More importantly she is really passionate about the Hotel, the Village and her job. That make the tour a very worthwhile and informative experience.

We have a dinner at the beautifully decorated cafe of the hotel. It is good but not the Michelin star type of food.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank bunnsHK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hong Kong
Level Contributor
95 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed April 12, 2012

From the limited pictures of the hotel seen on the web, It was enough to make me look forwards to staying in such a special and beautiful new boutique hotel.  It is a former marine police station with its colonial architecture preserved as much as possible as I have been told.  It was only open for guests since late March 2012 with only nine rooms for booking.  We stayed for two days in the Sea leopard and Lion suite.

 After check in, a well groomed staff Erica guided us on a lively and informative tour of the hotel, introducing the history of different parts of the hotel.  The staff both young and old were helpful, sincere and friendly, some are Tai O locals.  Though energetic, it seems they are still finding a way to efficiently manage the hotel as they claim the hotel is non profit making, wanting to focus on  revitalization and preservation of Tai O.  The interior of our suite was equally beautifully designed as its building itself.  The suite was roomy and comfortable with an enormous bed and a sofa bed, more than adequate space for us and our two kids under 12.  I especially liked the espresso coffee machine with the accompanying coffee capsules provided .  My kids loved the free choice of the latest international films like Shrek and Transformer.  Another bonus is the free internet access.  The set breakfast at the Tai O Lookout was very attractively presented and "very very yummy and better than buffet" as said by my daughter.

The environment was very quiet and relaxing, except for some eager trespassing tourists, mainly Hongkongers came to have a look at this beautiful building and to take snaps.  Twenty minutes walking distance is the traditional Tai O fishing village with stilt houses on both sides of the river.  The view was stunning with green hills as their background and the peaceful sea in front of these stilt houses.  We hopped on one of the many boats everywhere in the village and hoped to meet some Chinese white dolphins not far away in the sea.  Luckily for us, we saw two dolphins swimming very near our boat, one pink and one greyish in color, dancing gracefully up and under the water surface.  It costs only 20 HK dollars each and half price for kids!  When you're tired of walking, you can even hop on the boat for 10 HK dollars to have a trip back to the hotel.  We did a bit of hiking and could see the Hong Kong  International  Airport from afar on top of the hill.  There are some special snacks to be savoured in Tai O village e.g. Chinese egg waffles, sweet tofu dessert which to me is just "OK", unexpectedly the much promoted seafood was disappointing.   A lot of dried seafood stalls could be seen on the streets, not to mention the famous home made shrimp paste.  There is actually a shrimp paste factory near the hotel.  We watched a breathtaking sunset, had a light dinner at the fancy Tai O Lookout restaurant of the hotel and then watched the stars at night.  I even saw a falling star!

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Gill W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hong Kong, China
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed April 8, 2012

I made an online booking on their website 5 weeks prior to the date which included information such as my credit card and various other details. Subsequently I received an email that sounded like a confirmation but wasn't. Apparently it was merely a confirmation that they have received all my reservation details.
6 days before the date I have now received an email telling me that they have no availability and cannot confirm my booking. Since i booked their romantic package for our wedding anniversary, that's not exactly making us happy...

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank habeliraucher
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TaiOHeritageHotel, Manager at Tai O Heritage Hotel, responded to this review, April 22, 2012
Dear habeliraucher,

Thank you for taking the time to sharing your comments on Tripadvisor.

Please accept my sincere apology for the unpleasant booking experience and we have taken your comments seriously in improving our booking process. We are delighted to inform you that the issue you encountered has been addressed by replacing the booking form by a booking engine, where guests can check for the real time availability of our hotel.

Thank you again for posting your valued comments and we look forward to the opportunity of welcoming you back in the future.

With warmest regards,

Peary Lee
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Tai O Heritage Hotel

Property: Tai O Heritage Hotel
Address: Shek Tsai Po Street | Tai O, Lantau Island, Hong Kong Hong Kong, China
Location: China > Hong Kong > Lantau Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#92 Romantic Hotel in Hong Kong
#115 Luxury Hotel in Hong Kong
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Tai O Heritage Hotel 4.5*
Number of rooms: 9
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Tai O Heritage Hotel Hong Kong

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