I think the world already knows what happened to Tacloban, Leyte more than three years ago (November 2013). Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) devastated Tacloban and the surrounding areas putting the region on a global spotlight. Pre-Haiyan, one of the fanciest seaside resorts stood in Palo, The Oriental Leyte. It received the brunt of devastation being located by the beach. But three years would be more than enough to pick up the pieces. Along with the province and the city getting back at their feet, the Oriental Leyte was rebuilt. Last November 2016, the hotel opened its doors again, softly to the public.
Return to Elegance
I could hear music and songs being sang. It was a cheery welcome from the staff of The Oriental Leyte with coordinated dance steps to boot. Honestly I was surprised to see a lavishly designed reception area and lobby. It was heavily oriental I may say with with ceramic bottles and buddha figures adorning the walls and the tables. Touches of local elements like weaved baskets and shells ornate the furnitures.
It was hard not to notice the huge illuminated infinity pool when we arrived. It looks so attractive with the sea at the backdrop. There are numerous lounge areas too for people to enjoy time either chatting with friends and relatives, curl up with a good book or simply watching the sea.
The Oriental Leyte
The accommodations are housed into two parallel two-story buildings. At the aisle are decorative pools also adhering to the oriental theme of buddha images lined up near the pool’s periphery. The room I stayed has really ginormous in space. Two queen sized bed, large open area near the bathroom for other items like luggage or laundry. Then the bathroom was also spacious. Though I could see they were still working on it as the glass walls for the shower are not yet installed.
Samsara Restaurant is their main dining area. It looks cozy and warm and the placement of dishes for the evening buffet are convenient and appropriate. I’m quite familiar with their dishes being so similar to their sister branch the Oriental Legazpi. You can never go wrong with their food offerings. And I must certainly mention, they got one of the richest tasting brewed coffee I had.
It is nice to see the Oriental Leyte back in operation and on the swing of things. Now that Tacloban is close to passing its rebuilding phase and volunteerism is slowly dwindling, tourism is taking the forefront. The Oriental Leyte is an attractive looking hotel. At the time we visited, there were areas still being worked on but that was okay since it was still on soft opening. Their current rates at Php 2,017 for the first quarter of 2017 is quite attractive I may say.
The Oriental Leyte
Baras, Palo, Leyte, 6501, Philippines
Contact: +63–52–4800383 to 85, +63–52–7428888
Ferdz Decena is an award-winning travel photographer, writer and blogger. His works has found print in publications such as Singapore Airlines’s Silver Kris, Philippine Airlines’ Mabuhay, Cebu Pacific’s Smile and Seair InFlight. He has also lent his expertise to various organizations like the Oceana Philippines, Lopez Group Foundation, Save the Children and World Vision, contributing quality images for their marketing materials.