PALO, Leyte, Oct. 18 (PNA) –- The Oriental Hotel Leyte will resume its operation on Oct. 20 in this town after it was badly destructed by super typhoon Yolanda nearly three years ago.

The reopening is in time with the 72nd Leyte Gulf Landings celebration in the province.

Hotel general manager Anito Lanticse said everyone is excited for the reopening. “This is a new beginning and direction for us after the crisis. The hotel offers new and exciting experience for travelers.”

Lantecsi was also the manager when the hotel suffered tremendous damages when super typhoon Yolanda struck central Philippines.

“Our hotel rooms are already fully-booked for our re-opening this week. We will open 36 rooms on October 20, and by December 2016, all the 64 rooms for the Phase 1 will be operational,” Lanticse said.

The Oriental Grand Ballroom, which can accommodate 800 people is now functional with state of the art audio and visual equipment. It can be divided into five-smaller function rooms when needed.

The hotel’s design is as oriental as its name. The bamboo materials used for chandeliers and décor at lobby are all sourced in Leyte.

Room rates start with de-luxe rooms at PHP4,000 with free breakfast for two. There are also suite rooms, premier garden and premier spa facing the smaller swimming pool. There are rooms designed for big families with kitchen and living room facility.

The in-house Samasara restaurant offers authentic Asian cuisine. The SunBar offers anything grilled fronting the Olympic-sized pool.

For events, conferences and seminars aside from the grand ballroom, there are smaller function rooms that can accommodate up to 300 persons.

The Oriental Hotel Leyte sits on a five-hectare-lot, part of the 10-hectares MacArthur Landing Memorial National Park which the hotel maintains.

It is formerly the MacArthur Park Hotel.

“We hope to complete the 142 rooms in 2017. We were about to open the 60 more rooms to travelers in December 2013, when Yolanda struck causing much devastation to the property,” Lanticse said.

The LKY Group of Companies owned by Wilbert Lee operates the hotel.

The hotel was granted a 25-years build-to-operate transfer scheme in 2009 by the owner, the Leyte provincial government.

It opened on Dec. 15, 2011 and was forced to close after the super typhoon.

Oriental Hotel Leyte is located in this town, the same spot where General Douglas MacArthur and the allied forces made their historic landing 72 years ago at the Red Beach, signalling the end of the Japanese occupation in the country.

The Samaritan Purse, an international humanitarian organization converted some of the hotel’s rooms into warehouse for humanitarian response operations.

The opening of the Oriental Hotel Leyte gave employment to almost a hundred people of Palo and nearby towns. Its opening brings much hope for a reinvigorated tourism industry in Leyte and the region. (PNA) VICKY C. ARNAIZ