Because I embarked on the ASEAN Explorer trip with the AirAsia ASEAN Pass +, and because I think AirAsia has done a great job in bringing air travel to the masses in South East Asia, I figured I should try out their attempt to apply their low cost, pay-for-what-you-want to the hotel market and stay at one of their Tune hotels. They promise a “five-star bed at a 1-star price” and I wanted to see how that looks in practice and if it is as much of a winning formula as the airline.
So, who are they?
Tune hotels currently has 43 hotels in 8 countries and is planning to open a lot more! They are targeting the markets AirAsia and AirAsia X are flying to, so you will mostly find them in South East Asia.
In their own words, “Tune Hotels core proposition is to offer a great night’s sleep at a great price. All of the Tune hotels feature space-efficient, streamlined rooms focusing on high-quality basics: 5-star beds and powerful hot showers. Though minimally priced, the strategically located hotels provide housekeeping services, electronic keycard access into rooms, extensive CCTV systems, and no access into the main lobby without a keycard past midnight. A ‘pay as you use’ system is in place for optional energy-consuming amenities.”
So, why should I care?
Tune hotels promises you a comfortable bed and a hot shower in a safe place – and not much else. If that is all you need, you will get that in a good location at a low price. You can opt to pay for “extras” like air conditioning (in South East Asia’s hot climate not really a luxury), WiFi, TV or even towels and soap, raising the price significantly.
In the price-sensitive air travel market, where everybody brings you from A to B, the add-on pricing model was a success. In the hotel industry, I’m not so sure. There are so many factors to drive prices for hotels and a broad offering of low-priced rooms (that do include towels and soap) that the model is less convincing.
I can see this work best for people only needing a room to sleep, for example at an airport-stopover or before starting a tour. The well recognized brand might be attractive in markets not served by any major hotel chains. You can read more, if that is enough to make Tune Hotels a winner in my review of Tune hotels below:
Tune Hotel Kuching Waterfront