Low cost airline model for Melbourne's Tune Hotel

Tune Hotel Melbourne

Tune Hotel MelbourneSHE thinks this concept is a cracker: take the low cost airline model of user-pays and apply it to a hotel. Why not? How practical. Simple. And very clever. Tune Hotels are part of the Air Asia family - the low cost airline winning awards for it's service 5 years in a row. SHE flew with the airline from Bali recently - it was a great experience.

There are 33 hotels in 8 countries across the world (mainly Asia, Japan, India, the UK) and Melbourne is the first location for the hotel group in Australia. And what a location. As a standard, all hotels around the world are centrally based so you're within easy reach of local attractions, transport, activities and dining. Melbourne's hotel is in Swanston Street, a tram ride away from just about anywhere you could want to go, walking distance to the restaurants and cafes of Lygon St and Carlton, just for a start.

The concept is to offer "a 5 star sleeping experience at a 1 star price".  Beds are equivalent to those you'll find in 5 star hotels, and in our experience, it's the one thing we're not prepared to compromise on when we're choosing our accommodation. At an introductory price of $39 for a room in Melbourne (rooms may average up to $85 in coming months), that's well within the 1 star price category. What an absolute bargain.

The user-pay model applies to the hotels just like the airline: if you don't need it or want it why pay for it? And here's a snapshot of the costs you may choose to pay for:

  • 24 hr wifi - $6.60 2 devices
  • Entertainment package with 24 hr Foxtel cable TV: $4.40
  • Early checkin: $22
  • Late checkout: $22
  • Comfort pack (entertainment package, wifi, towel and toiletries) $11

Tune Hotels say they are "financially incentivising you to think about energy consumption". Good on you folks for helping us help the earth's resources. SHE already feels better about this than the concept of reusing a towel to reduce the use of detergents. Not quite so tangible to us for some odd reason. As an example of this approach, you choose to pay for your air conditioning (in all countries except Australia). There it is again: if I don't need it, why should I have to pay for it?

Tune Hotel Legian-doubleSHE thinks the potential for this market is huge. When we travel we're not always interested in spending a lot of time in a luxurious room, sitting on a balcony with a view, sipping drinks from the minibar, waiting on our room service. If you don't mind a small, clean, well maintained room that has all the basics at a consistently low price, this is an excellent choice. The hotels won't suit everyone all the time, but what a great option if you don't want all the bells and whistles.

SHE's looking forward to booking in to one of these hotels and giving it a test run. On the horizon, SHE's thinking about a room in Tune Hotel Legian, with these inclusions, for less than $20 a night. Good grief. That's practically free.

Hooray to you Tune Hotels.