Lantau’s hospitality options will expand further on December 1 with the opening of Sheraton Tung Chung.
The 218-room hotel, built on reclaimed land on the Tung Chung waterfront, is opening after an 12-month delay thanks to last year’s political tumult and the pandemic.
It is opening its arms to local residents.
“We would love to invite our neighbours to be one of the first to come and enjoy our exceptional hospitality,” the company posted on its Facebook page.
Until February 28, it is running a promotion for locals. For HK$1101 and upwards, guests can enjoy a single night in a deluxe room with buffet breakfast for two, free welcome drinks and late check-out till 3 pm, according to HKET.
If you’re wondering if you qualify as a local, according to a Sheraton customer service representative the answer is ‘yes.’
The hotel’s dining options include rooftop grillhouse Sunset Grill, modern Chinese restaurant Yue, all-day dining at Cafe Lantau, and a lobby Lounge for afternoon tea. It also has a pool deck and a gym that faces the sea.
Photos: Sheraton Tung Chung
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Coming up: Lantau events over Chinese New Year
Jan 18: Silvermine Bay School Open Day. 1F Silver Centre Building, 10 Mui Wo Ferry Pier Rd. 11am-2pm. Details: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jan 18: Eddie Chu, local Legco member and founder of the Land Justice League, will be outside McDonald’s, Mui Wo, 10:30am-12:30pm. He will hand out voting registration forms, write Fai Chun and meet local residents. Waste-Free Mui Wo will also be there for freecycling.
Jan 18: New Year Quest. New Year’s celebration at Little Field Restaurant (小隱於野) with house specials, chill music, board games and more. 3pm till late, 50 Cheung Sha Lower Village. Tickets $280-$350. Bookings and details here.
Jan 19: CNY Market at Cheung Sha Beach. Featuring food, drink and diverse local stalls. 11am: Dumplings Workshop. 1pm: Fai Chun Workshop. Little Field Restaurant (小隱於野), 50 Cheung Sha Lower Village. Click here for more details or to book a stall.
Jan 19: Dinner Theatre: Jam Every Other Day. Starring local actress Erika Marais. 6pm The Stoep at Hightide, Mui Wo. HK$300. Bookings/information: http://www.lymarialberts.com
Jan 26: Garden Genies. Permaculture workshop at Ark Eden. Cost: $750. 9:40am-5:30pm. Meet at Mui Wo ferry pier. Bookings/details: email@example.com.
Jan 27: A Walk to Remember II. Hike from Mui Wo to Pui O. With swimming, soccer & music at Pui O Beach. Starts at 10am from Mui Wo. Donation $100. Organised by One Love Community. Bookings/information here.
Caribbean bar and restaurant Di Jerk Shed has shut its doors, the latest hospitality business to go under at Lower Cheung Sha Beach.
The company announced in a Facebook post on March 14 that it was closing immediately, attributing the closure to “high operating cost[s], natural disasters and [the] inability to adequately staff to provide our Caribbean experience.”
The bar, owned by local-based pilots Larry la Guerre and Phil St Hill, offered Lantau’s – and Hong Kong’s – only Caribbean-style restaurant, with Jamaican jerk, doubles, rum julep punch and reggae.
But like a number of bars that set up before them at the scenic beachside, it was unable to survive in a difficult-to-reach location that is only able to attract customers for half the year.
As the owners hinted in their final message, the rent is also prohibitive – tenants pay HK$35,000 and more for spots along the beach.
Di Jerk Shed’s exit leaves one less option for residents and visitors this summer.
The final message in full:
It is with great regret and a heavy heart that I announce that we have ceased operations with immediate effect. I want to thank all of you who have visited us during our operations and do apologise if we have caused any inconvenience. We were unable to overcome our high operating cost, natural disasters and inability to adequately staff to provide our caribbean experience.
Have a wonderful summer.
In a mystifying chain of events, vehicles were set alight in identical circumstances ten kilometres apart at almost exactly the same time. The Triad Squad took over the case, but no arrests have been made.
A Lantau family mourned the death of Rebecca Dykes, a Hong Kong-raised international aid staffer in the UK Beirut Embassy. An Uber driver was charged with Rebecca’s murder. The family set up a charity fund aiming to raise £100,000 (HK$1.045m) to continue Rebecca’s work on humanitarian causes.
A 69-year-old Sha Tin village chief died after falling 30 metres on the treacherous Kau Nga Ling trail toLantau Peak.
When David Kam was born in Luk Tei Tong, Lantau had no roads, no ferry to Central and no telephones. He has seen more change in his lifetime than all of his ancestors combined.
Civic Party leader and barrister Tanya Chan and others called for an investigation into the role of a Mui Wo village leader who was directly involved in six village house transactions and connected to another three in the space of two years.
The Water Supplies Department proposed building a fence around the popular ‘infinity pool’ near Yi O to prevent people swimming there.
Superstar Chow Yun Fat chilled in Mui Wo for an afternoon. The Village Bakery’s Kit Lau took the opportunity to get a selfie with the screen legend.
The breaks are falling the right way for Denquar, a local singer, songwriter and actor now dividing her time between Hong Kong and London.
The Stoep, a much-loved landmark, closed its doors at Cheung Sha Beach and re-invented itself at Mui Wo. The beachside restaurant became a destination for a generation of Hong Kongers.
More Lantau creations to fill your Christmas stockings.
Straight from the kiln
If you’re looking for beautiful handmade gifts, local artist Fatima Morrissey has some stunning ceramics.
Decorated with wood block print and blue underglaze and finished with clear glaze, these cylinders (above) can be used as cup or as a vase. Price: HK$220
These customisable four-piece sets (above and below) are made to order. This set (above) uses batik woodblocks: Price for set of four: HK$980
Handpainted magnolia set with graffito decoration. Price: HK$1180
How to buy: Ready-made items can be purchased at The Village Bakery or directly from Fatima. firstname.lastname@example.org or phone/Whatsapp 66806763 NB: Made to order can take up to three weeks to complete.
Cotton on to a cause
A social startup, Stitch Up, founded by HKU Social Venture Management students, is selling upcycled pieces of fabric.
They take unwanted scraps of fabric from the textile industry or hotels and turn them into reusable bags that are a cheap alternative to plastic. According to team member Kathryn Davies:
Our bags are useful for single-item produce, general shopping bags, personal and electronic items, as well as storage and organization. We’ve got a range of bags in red and green — perfect for wrapping Christmas presents in an eco-friendly way!
The ultimate aim is to help underprivileged people by providing employment opportunities while helping the environment.
The bags are priced from HK$20-HK$150.
How to buy: Phone/WhatsApp Kathryn on 9549-1462 or email StitchUpX@gmail.com
Mui Wo-based Rebecca Chan produces around 20 different types of soap, gift sets and special orders.
She uses cold process to make her environmentally-friendly soaps. All are made with natural ingredients, with different formulas for different skin types.
Prices range fom $50-$250.
How to buy: Imprint Bookshop, Mui Wo or order from email@example.com
You can buy a ‘Keep Lantau Horny’ T-shirt from the Lantau Buffalo Association for just HK$120 (usually HK$150). It’s a well-made shirt that will last years.
LBA is also selling this greeting card featuring the prize-winning buffalo portrait by Natasha Ramsey. Price: HK$50
How to buy: Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
On the buses
The NLB buses may not enjoy the iconic status as our buffalo, but they are a ubiquitous local symbol.
You can buy a model version from Kwoon Chung Motors. You can see the full range here.
How to buy: Contact email@example.com
Prices: Around HK$260
- Part 2: Click here for Part 1:
If you’re dreaming of a Lantau Christmas, here’s a guide to locally-created products to fill your stockings.
Lantau Ren has a selection of playful, beautifully-made products that resonate for Lantau residents. If you haven’t experienced them already, you should.
But hurry! Lantau News readers are eligible for a 25% discount between now and Monday (December 11). Discount code: LANTAUNEWSXMAS17.
How to buy: All items can be bought through the Lantau Ren website.
Hot and saucy
The Gallery at Tong Fuk has bottled its fabulous hot sauces in two flavours – jalapeno and habanero.
It’s celebrating these sauces with a range of cool T-shirts, made out of top-grade cotton from Gildan, in strawberry red and charcoal grey.
The sauces sell for HK$65 a bottle and the T-shirts HK$200 each.
For those who want to go the whole spice, the sauces sell for a wholesale price of $33 per bottle for a pack of 24 (minimum order 2 packs).
How to buy: Phone 29802582 or Whatsapp 91315388
For local gardeners learning to cope with Lantau’s unique conditions, the South Lantau Garden Group (aka SLUGS) has come up with a harvesting and planting guide.
Co-designed by SLUGS founder Sally Bunker and Susan Mertens, it’s priced at HK$65.
SLUGS is also selling Christmas and greetings cards at HK$10 each or HK$50 a set.
How to buy: Available from the Imprint Bookshop, Lantau Base Camp and Garden Plus, or Whatsapp 96644368
Green reading for kids
If you’re looking for something distinctive for young children why not introduce them to Gavin Coates’ vivid environmental tales?
The local author’s books include Earthy Love (for infants – HK$99), The Last Nut, (5-10 year-olds – HK$129) and Pinky the Dolphin and the Power That May Be (5-10 year-olds HK$149).
How to buy: All are available through the Earthy Store or WhatsApp Gavin at 96713057
Colourful Hong Kong
For slightly older readers, Hong Kong Movers and Shakers brings to life a colourful cast of characters from the pen of another Lantau-based writer, Jane Houng.
Just released, it brings to life the likes of colonial administrator Sir Mattew Nathan, who moved mountains to build Nathan Road, Cantonese opera singer Sun Ma Sze-tsang, who brought his audience to tears, and the legendary kung-fu artist Bruce Lee.
How to buy: HK$65 from Commercial Press bookshop in Tung Chung or any of its other 20 branches or online.
* Part 1. More gift ideas in Part 2 tomorrow
Photo (top): Cable car hand towels from Lantau Ren
The latest on Mui Wo’s increasingly diverse retail scene is Greenstyle, an organic store selling green foods and products.
Opened two weeks ago, the store is run by local couple Gary Tsang and Edith Ng. Gary previously used to sell solar and wind power equipment, while Edith worked in cosmetics.
“We use natural rather than chemical ingredients,” Gary said. As well as selling the products, “we want make more people understand more about the environment.”
Since last week Greenstyle has been selling fresh vegetables, including kale, tomato, carrots, red beetroot and sweet potato.
The vegetables are sourced from Ecofarm, an FDA-certified farm in Jiangxi, China, run by two former Hong Kong University professors.
Gary, whose grandfather has a farm in Cheung Sha, says he’s next planning to buy from local Lantau organic farms. An online store for the website is also on the way.
As well as food and snacks, Greenstyle stocks skincare, healthcare, natural household and baby food products. Most are imported through a local agent.
Where: Shop J, Sea View Building, Mui Wo (opposite Park’n’Shop)
Contact: Email firstname.lastname@example.org Phone 2981 8860
If you’re a fan of Lantau-themed products, here’s a new one – Lantau Peak, a craft beer now on tap at The Water Buffalo.
A pale ale brewed by proprietor Chris Riley and launched just last week, it lines up next to a range of arrestingly-named indie brews like Badger’s Hopping Hare, Old Peculier and Brains Black.
Chris, who opened the Pui O gastropub with his wife Jenny in April last year, knows his way around vats and hops.
He is a long-time home brewer, was twice runner-up in UK home brew competitions and has a PhD in chemistry
He admits it was initially “a bit scary” to move up from home brew to commercial production, but says it actually turned out to be easier.
The industrial equipment is much better at dealing with the tricky elements like cleanliness and temperature control, he explains.
“At home it’s very easy to get contaminated. Here I can pump hot water and cleaning agent through the equipment so it’s clean and sanitised.”
Lantau Peak is not Lantau’s first craft beer. Pilot Pierre Cadoret was the pioneer with Typhoon Beer, which he made in Mui Wo from 2009 until the venture was forced out by high rent.
Chris describes Pierre as a mentor. “I wouldn’t have been able to do this without him,” he said.
He says that while Hong Kong has an emerging craft brew scene, he has to source the key ingredients, like roasted barleys and black and chocolate malts, from the UK and Australia.
As well as being one of only five Hong Kong micro-brewery pubs, The Water Buffalo is one of the few restaurants in the city, and the only one in Lantau, to offer gluten-free food.
Chris says when he went through a period of gluten-intolerance his wife Jenny, his partner in running the pub, worked up a portfolio of gluten-free dishes that they now serve patrons.
It a big deal for some people. There’s even a gluten-free beer, Daura Damm, from Spain.
“We have a good local following, but people will travel long distances if they know they can get a gluten-free meal,” Chris says.
Rats and restaurants are a good combo only in movies.
When a passerby saw this rat dining on chicken wings at a Yat Tung market stall last week, he was appalled and captured this photo on his phone.
Mr Lee was on his way for lunch when he and saw the uninvited guest snacking on food laid out in the window trays. He described the stall as not very hygienic, Apple Daily reported.
A female staffer saw the rat and removed the food immediately. She later told an Apple Daily reporter that “usually we don’t have any rats.”
Apple Daily gave the incident the full treatment:
South Lantau has its first taste of Chile. Mapuche, which sells Chilean meats, cheeses and wines, opened in Mui Wo a month ago. Lantau News spoke to owners James and Paola.
How did you come to be on Lantau?
James: I came back to Hong Kong nearly four years ago. We had been running big Spanish restaurants in Central London. That’s how we met. I’m a restaurateur. I was running three to four restaurants, but it became a bit much after our twins were born.
I had money saved up, so we went first to Chile, where Paola is from. I got involved in a restaurant tech but Chile wasn’t quite ready for it. And my Spanish was pocito.
I grew up in Hong Kong, and my dad who lives in Tung Chung suggested we come back.
What gave you the idea for Mapuche?
James: Our idea was to do tapas tasting covering the 14 viticultures of Chile. The wines and the food that go together.
Myself, I’ve opened lots of big restaurants and closed lots of big restaurants. We’re not trying to be too ambitious. This is a project of love for me and my wife.
This is a project with my wife and hopefully it will take me away from town and we can become full islanders one day. My wife is the hero here – she is the person that is working every day and making it happen.
What does ‘mapuche’ mean?
Paola: The Mapuche are the indigenous inhabitants of Chile.
Why did you choose Mui Wo?
James: We started coming down here and we loved it. More recently we have engaged with the shopkeepers and the bar people here. Everyone has been so nice.
Paola: Because it’s a community. It’s nice to go around and everyone says ‘good morning’, ‘good afternoon.’ Lantau is very nice – it reminds me of Chile, especially South Lantau. Hong Kong is too big for me, especially with the twins.
What are you selling in Mapuche?
James: We started off with mainly Spanish products, the cheeses and the hams. The idea was stuff you could take to the beach that was not available in the supermarket, artisanal stuff – premium light chorizos, hams, stuff you can grab and chuck in your picnic basket.
We buy what we like to eat. Nothing here is available in the supermarket – the wines are all unique Hispanic varieties.
The idea was to call it ‘box my picnic’ – it was supposed to be a popup. But we realised people want the choice and the service. They want someone who knows about the wine.
Apart from the store, what else?
We’re doing these events called Pimp My Chef, where we bring a Chilean chef around to your house. These are the kind of events we hope to start doing just to get the idea of our food out there. We are tasting three different wine flights, with three different ceviches, with three different cuts of meat and three different reds from Chile.
We would like to turn this into a more café style shop experience, where you could come for coffee, light tapas, glass of wine. Very family-oriented and informal – you can bring your kids.
We have another floor upstairs we would like to use as a supper club. We would like to make it a tourist destination, pick people up by junk from Pier 9, bring them here for a dining experience for a few hours. That’s where we see some massive potential.
Where: Shop B, 10 Ferry Pier Road 10, Silver Centre, Mui Wo
When: Monday-Sunday 11am-9pm