Free Tours of Hullett House in Hong Kong

Travel News Asia Latest Travel News Podcasts Videos Friday, 12 February 2010

In celebration of Hong Kongs rich and diverse cultural heritage, Hullett House, the design-led heritage development consisting of an hotel, five restaurants and bars and a souvenir store, is opening its doors to the general public, inviting them on guided group tours to historical points of interest within the house, free of charge.

Situated in the colonial white-stucco building on Canton Road in Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, close to the Star Ferry terminal, the building was originally commissioned in 1881 to house the Royal Hong Kong Marine Police who occupied it until late 1996. The site was named a declared monument in 1994 and is one of the four oldest surviving government buildings in Hong Kong.

The guided group tours will take in many of the original features that have been carefully honoured and maintained throughout the historic building. Guests will walk down the original staircases and through the history filled halls before entering the open courtyard dubbed 50 pigeons - a name inspired by the carrier pigeon houses mounted on the courtyard wall, the traditional home for the birds used to carry messages to boats on the harbour during the days when the Marine Police still occupied the building and before the invention of the radio.

Other elements such as the wooden lintel engraved with Indian Constables will also be viewed on the Hullett House tour. The Hong Kong Marine Police force was established in 1841, comprising European, Chinese and Indian officers. Indian Constables played a vital role in the history of Hong Kongs Marine Police and this historic accent remains as homage to them.

Another stop on the tour is the Mariners Rest where pirates, smugglers and other ruffians were once held captive. Interestingly, Hong Kongs first flushing toilet can also be found there! Memorabilia and old photographs from the archives of the Marine Police now adorn the walls of this character-filled gastropub, honouring the original drinking establishment. Also seen in the Mariners Rest and throughout the hotel rooms at Hullett House are the intricately-designed cast-iron fireplaces.

The revitalised Hullett House was inspired by the citys rich and varied history over the last 125 years, with its unique blend of Chinese and British influences and mix of old and new. The design-led heritage house now consists of an intimate hotel, five restaurants and bars as well as a souvenir store. Since opening in September 2009, it is fast becoming one of the citys premier tourist destinations as well as attracting hordes of locals who wish to capture some of its definitive romance.

Founder of aqua group and creative visionary behind Hullett House, David Yeo said, I was very passionate about wanting to give something back to Hong Kong that was a celebration of the city itself, of its vibrant culture and rich past. Hullett House has been inspired by the citys heritage, and the work we have done to help preserve this heritage is our thank you to Hong Kong, for all it has given the aqua group. We hope these complimentary tours will encourage the people of Hong Kong and its visitors to come explore our humble contribution to the citys history.

Tours will take place twice daily with the first tour commencing at 2:00pm and the second commencing at 4:00pm. Each tour will take approximately 20 minutes and visitors are advised to book for this historical visit as numbers are limited for security and safety purposes.

Further tours are also being arranged to explore the historical highlights of 1881 Heritage prior to the Hullett House tour.

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