I first heard of Tune Hotels when I saw their functional display at the LCCT terminal at KLIA. It sounded like a great concept – a clean budget hotel with the basics and prices starting from just RM 9.99. It’s operated by the AirAsia conglomerate and I decided to book a room to experience the concept hotel.
The hotel is located near the Medan Tuanku Monorail Station and the interesting thing about the hotel is that it’s not called Tune Hotel. It’s called TuneHotels.com. It’s like 1997 all over again, with the dot com craze. The other thing that impressed itself upon me was the vast amount of advertising that’s plastered around the facade. It’s like the hotel is one gigantic billboard!
The price of the hotel rooms fluctuates according to demand, much like AirAsia tickets. I got our double room for RM 48.99. The price is for the room only, and everything extra is charged. Towels and soap goes for RM 15, air conditioning is charged at RM 6.83 for 5 hours and RM 13.49 for 12 hours, and WiFi is available for RM 12 for 24 hours.
TuneHotels.com also implements the interesting concept of “anchor franchise tenants” – there is a 7Eleven, a Subway and another franchise eating establishment at the lobby. TuneHotels.com has a very stringent check-in policy. The check-in time is at 2 pm and no one gets to check in before the designated time. Thus, there’s a huge queue of people waiting at the lobby, which usually ends up patronizing the franchise tenants. Amazing marketing…
The check-out time is at 10 am – 2 hours before the regular 12 pm check-out time for hotels, which is something to watch out for. I didn’t remember and was awakened from my blissful ethanol induced slumber at 11 am by housekeeping to politely remind me that the check-out time is at 10 pm. They don’t charge you for overstaying though, so it’s still alright.
The rooms at TuneHotels.com are as small as everyone says. There’s hardly enough space for two people to pass through the corridor! It looks a little like a love hotel too, as my girlfriend commented – there are pink neon lighting surrounding huge mirrors (probably for increase spatial perception) and the luminosity from a lot of the fixings are neon in nature. The bathroom is a little small and cramped, but I can’t complain for the price – and it’s very clean to boot.
One thing you may have noticed from the photos is that there are a lot of advertisements even in the room. I could count a McDonald’s ad, a CIMB Bank ad, a Visa card ad, and a Maggi instant noodles ad vying for eyeballs in the bedroom itself! It’s staggering!
An advertiser sponsors each and every floor at TuneHotels.com too, much like the KL Monorail…
…this is my personal favorite. ;)
The architect of TuneHotels.com is a proponent of the minimum space, maximum occupancy philosophy and this leads to the height of the rooms being extra low. I nearly hit my face on the ceiling fan (when it was on full blast!) while standing up on the bed. Granted, there are signs warning you against the perils of the low hung ceiling fan causing unfortunate incidents, but still…
You get to meet a lot of people at TuneHotels.com too, the backpacker types – this is Anna from Gold Coast, Australia who kindly pulled up a chair for me when I went down for a smoke at 2 am in the morning (which was why I look half asleep). She’s here on a modeling assignment.
I’m impressed with Datuk Tony Fernandez’s business acumen. Sponsored floors! Advertising in the elevators! Franchise tenants! The commercialization of the TuneHotels.com operation is staggering. Personally, I don’t mind as long as the savings are passed down to the guests. :)