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Tune Hotels Review – Accommodation Like A Low Cost Airline

Tune Hotels Review

Have you ever turned up to an airport at midnight, dreading the prospect of haggling with a taxi driver that may take you on a special 100 buck early morning scenic tour, a la Mean Streets: Confessions of a Nighttime Taxi Driver?

Or, if you want to avoid that, mortgaging your house to pay for the convenience of an overpriced room at an expensive hotel chain walking distance from the airport?

Even worse, sleeping at the airport itself on a poorly cushioned chair that you’re trying to share with other tight arse travellers – and cockroaches?

Yes, I’ve been in all of these situations.  And they all really suck.

But I’ve come across a viable alternative which promises to eliminate all of those dodgy late-night-accommodation-searching scenarios.

It’s called Tune Hotels.  And they operate in the same manner as many of the low cost airlines do – you pay for what you want.

When I first heard about the concept, it sounded a bit strange to me – paying the different components of accommodation separately.  But after staying at Tune Hotels, it now makes perfect sense.

Biresh from Tune Hotels kindly let me crash at their Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) hotel at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.  I needed a place to sleep overnight after my awesome month long trip through Indonesia, and I was able to see what Tune Hotels are all about.

This is the Tune Hotel at the Kuala Lumpur LCCT:

Tune Hotels - Cheap Hotel Airport Kuala Lumpur LCCT

Anyway, this is how the system at Tune Hotels works:

First of all, there is a room base rate.  The base rate includes the room per night only.  The room includes a comfortable bed and bathroom with hot water and powerful showers.

The base rate at Kuala Lumpur airport starts at RM 9.99, or about $USD3 per night depending on availability and the length of time booked in advance (similar to how a low cost airline works).  Even if you book at short notice, the rates are reasonable.

The longer you book in advance, the cheaper the price.

You then pay for the extras you want.  Add-ons include things like air-conditioning, towels and soap/shampoo.  Or otherwise, you can bring these things yourself.

There’s more on the Tune Hotels concept here at their website.

This is a typical room. They can be a bit small (or ‘space efficient’ as Biresh says!) , but they more than do the job.

Inside Tune Hotel Bedroom Kuala Lumpur

The Tune Hotel rooms themselves are modern, basic and clean.  There’s no television or phones, but many travellers don’t need these anyway. They just want a place to crash that’s clean without the bonus of insects that may find their way into your mouth when sleeping the night away.

If you want air-conditioning, this is paid for in 12 hour lots.  There is a timer in the room which lets you know how much air-con time you have left.

Metered Air Conditioning Tune Hotel Kuala Lumpur

I like the idea of the air-con vouchers. It stops energy hungry sods from leaving the air-con on all day just so the room is cool when they come back to sleep again, thus preventing the unnecessary release of greenhouse gases which will raise sea levels by a few more millimetres.

With regards to paying for towel rental, do you use a different towel each day at home? Neither do I.  Many backpackers bring their own anyway.

Even the toilets and shower facilities are great!  I had just spent a month backpacking around Indonesia using only a bucket for a shower, and I found their showers were powerful enough to clean an elephant!

Here is a photo of the bathroom – Look – no mould!

Inside Tune Hotel  Bathroom Kuala Lumpur

So what’s the verdict?

For me, Tune Hotels are excellent value for money (especially one located walking distance from the airport).  Their hotels are modern, comfortable and clean.  They even use King Coil beds, which some of the more expensive hotel chains use.

In comparison, I’ve paid truckloads more for a lumpy dorm bed in a dingy backpacker’s where there was cigarette stained carpets resembling a leopard skin, accompanied by scurrying cockroaches.  And this was with communal bathrooms with trickle-showers that were a breeding ground for unidentified bacteria that would have scared off any agar plate.

If you wanted to stay at the Kuala Lumpur airport Tune Hotel, I’d suggest booking in advance to make sure you can get a room.  Understandably, they’re often booked out, which says something in itself.  You can even pay for a refresher deal for a few hours if you want to chill out before your next flight.

There are other Tune Hotels located in other cities, such as Penang, Bali (Indonesia) and Kuching (Malaysian Borneo), with grand plans to open a lot more in the next few years.

Tune Hotels is an offshoot of the Air Asia group. Tune Hotels are popping up all over the place – understandably, where Air Asia flies.

You can also follow Tune Hotels on Twitter.

By the way, the Tune Hotels Twitter account is not a bot – it’s operated by a real person (Biresh!) who actually interacts with you!

So the bottom line is: if you want a clean, affordable place to crash on your next travels around south-east Asia, Tune Hotels is definitely an option for you.  And I’m not just saying this because the accommodation was provided free of charge to me by Tune Hotels.

You can tell from the photos themselves (ie. they’re my photos, not ones from a PR Agency!) that it’s a great place to stay.

But don’t just take my word for it – stay there for a night or so and find out yourself.  It won’t cost you much anyway!

And while you are there, check out Kuala Lumpur with Lonely Planet Kuala Lumpur Regional Guide.

About Anthony The Travel Tart

The Travel Tart writes about the funny, offbeat and weird aspects of world travel today. Travel wasn't meant to be taken too seriously! Check out ways to say hi below or sign up for his silly newsletter!

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  1. November 5, 2009    

    Tunehotels are great. I stayed at the KL city centre branch and I had the same reaction as you to the bathroom – “wow no mould!”. The bed was like I imagine sleeping in a big marshmallow, though it might have been perspective after a month of travel in cheapo guesthouses in Indonesia.

  2. Sapawi Sapawi
    November 7, 2009    

    Hi Anthony. I guarantee that before people had no idea about the concept of this Tune Hotel provided by AirAsia. After reading this post, I found this article is very helpful for the travelers.

    you said the hotel is near LCCT, that means there is another Tune Hotel in Kuala Lumpur at Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman that is not far from Sogo KL.
    .-= Sapawi´s last blog ..Sogo KL =-.

  3. November 18, 2009    

    The hotel with the lowest initial rate may not be the best value. Many better hotels include extras and amenities in their basic rate including a free breakfast; some now offer free wireless internet service. Travellers should ascertain precisely what is included in their room rate and what services incur an additional charge. This is especially important for business travellers; internet and phone charges can add significantly to the cost of the stay. For hotels offering a free breakfast, it’s usually a good idea to find out exactly what the breakfast comprises; there is a significant difference between an elaborate breakfast buffet and a couple of lonely pastries on a tray.

  4. December 1, 2009    

    The concept of Tune hotels is new and after all who wants to spend exorbitant amount on room rents when all that you need is a night’s sound sleep. Thanks for sharing.

  5. December 16, 2009    

    I like this concept its good for everyone

  6. Carina Carina
    December 27, 2009    

    Much better than low cost airlines because at least you don’t have to put your life at risk to stay there as yo do with the dodgy training given to many low cost airline maintenance and pilots. Wouldn’t catch me on Air Asia but I would give the hotels a go…

  7. Kelly@Chamonix Transfers Kelly@Chamonix Transfers
    January 5, 2010    

    It’s like Ryan air flights. I like it, pay as you go/want for hotels.

  8. Mr Indonesia Hotels Mr Indonesia Hotels
    January 20, 2010    

    I like this article. This is called a great article. I am new here. I like your site too. This is pretty awesome. i found some useful info here. anyways thanks for sharing with us. I am looking foreword your next post. Thanks. I’m just going to shear this site all my friend’s and i hope they live this site.

  9. B.B. Kent B.B. Kent
    February 12, 2010    

    Hadn’t heard of Tune hotels. They look very fit for purpose.

  10. Lockerbie Accommodation Lockerbie Accommodation
    February 20, 2010    

    I certainly have never heard of these before and could certainly see them giving travel lodges and premier inn in the UK a run for their money.

    Tarras Bed and Breakfast – Lockerbie

  11. February 21, 2010    

    t was revealed that Phuket has been identified as the location for the first of the 44 new Tune hotels.

    The roll-out of Tune across Asia is also planned for other locations in Thailand, China, Bangladesh, the Philippines and as Indonesia.

    Almost half of the Tune Hotels. com to be developed will be in Thailand, with Bangkok and Phuket identified as key locations, while China, Bangladesh, Philippines and Indonesia would have between five to six Tune hotels

  12. February 26, 2010    

    Thank you for the information you have written

  13. Port Macquarie Holidays Port Macquarie Holidays
    March 9, 2010    

    This is the second time I have read about Tune Hotels. I have got to try this. It could end scary airport overnights forever! (And yeah, what is it with those early morning tours you didn’t ask for??) Seriously, thanks for posting some great detail information about this.

  14. March 9, 2010    

    Oh yeah, you’ve described some of the worst places to be – especially sleeping at the airport. Wow, you’ve really hit a winner with Tune Hotels. Who cares if the rooms are small, beats sleeping in a chair. Great stuff.

  15. Sydney Apartments Sydney Apartments
    March 9, 2010    

    Wow that’s interesting. One of those things someone should have thought of decades ago. This is certaining going to take off. I do a lot of business traveling. With Sydney apartments so expensive, this is a great idea for the frequent visitor!

  16. March 11, 2010    

    Wow this is a really different idea. Sure beats sleeping at the airport. The rooms look quite roomy really. There really is no comparison though between a bed and a chair. Looks as if Tune Hotels have thought of just about everything.

  17. Home Air conditioner Home Air conditioner
    March 16, 2010    

    Gosh… not a bad deal, if you consider the type of rooms you get for the price you pay.
    .-= Home Air conditioner´s last blog ..Why Home Air Conditioning Filters Are Important? =-.

  18. Conference Venues Conference Venues
    March 18, 2010    

    Like most tourists these days I like to get value for money. That’s why I find your information here really useful. I will be definitely having a look at Tune hotels for my next trip

  19. March 20, 2010    

    Fairplay these have got a good business model there.

    Tarras Bed and Breakfast Lockerbie, Scotland

  20. March 25, 2010    

    Wow nice! I wish they’d have more of those Tune hotels! A lot of stuff at hotels I always end up not needing/using, and I can certainly bring myself a towel or two. Saving on hotel prices is definitely a plus in my book when I travel! When will it come to America?

  21. March 29, 2010    

    This hotel looks quite nice. I have stayed in some really poor quality hotels with lumpy bed matresses and dirty bathrooms with insects in!

  22. April 1, 2010    

    This is such a great concept. How many of us prefer to bring and use our own soap and shampoo and hairdryer anyway? This way we aren’t paying for what we don’t use.

  23. April 5, 2010    

    I have heard good things about Tune Hotels and will be trying them out next month.

  24. April 6, 2010    

    Wow..really nice review about Tune Hotel. I saw this hotel at Sabah 2 months ago and I never though that Tune Hotel is really good like this. One day I will come to this hotel.

    best regard

  25. April 7, 2010    

    Oh, I really enjoy these hotels. They’re very useful, and make you save money. I was on a trip in Australia and after I stopped at Backpackers Sydney I though I would take the advantage to go to Asia, and I found those. I wish they’d have them in America!

  26. buat duit internet buat duit internet
    April 9, 2010    

    I’m so proud to know that this hotel is in Malaysia, at my place (Kuching) I never see it yet hope one day Tune Hotel will take over some crappy hotel here and make it to Tune Hotel =)

  27. April 16, 2010    

    Very nice hotel. I have stayed there once, with comfortable beds and bathrooms.

  28. April 28, 2010    

    That’s a great idea. I wish there were more of these kinds of hotels all over the world. And not only near airports but also in downtown areas of big cities. I could certainly use a cheap hotel when visiting new cities!

  29. May 12, 2010    

    Very greatful for the information. Can’t be worse than a hotel I stayed in near Boston Airport a few months back. The hotel room doesn’t look small compared to some ’boutigue’ hotels (try the Hudson in New York for small – you couldn’t swing a kitten). I like their air conditioning idea, and the lack of a TV. They only show BBC World anyway !

  30. May 14, 2010    

    Yeah, why would we have to pay for stuff we don’t use or need? I can definitely handle bringing my own towel, and reusing the same sheets two or three nights in a row. Not only does it come cheaper, but it also helps the environment. I wish Tune would open more hotels elsewhere in the world!

  31. white kitchen cabinets white kitchen cabinets
    July 21, 2010    

    Interesting indeed. The rooms very comfy and homely. Would definitely like to try the place out. Thanks for the information.

  32. danna@boston weddings danna@boston weddings
    July 29, 2010    

    You have no idea how helpful your article is to us. Not everyone is lucky enough to get a good hotel accommodation at a low price especially over Southeast Asia.

  33. August 4, 2010    

    I love these reviews. Certainly very helpful to travelers. Great work. Cheers

  34. August 4, 2010    

    I was stayed at Penang Tune Hotel last week. This is really an amazing experience. St aff are energetic and room is clean and well organize d. I like the wall art in the room and along the corridor, it makes me feel like I am staying in a mini-boutique hotel.

  35. wedding photographers boston wedding photographers boston
    August 8, 2010    

    Goodnews to travelers. It’s good to know that there are cheap hotels that caters great accomodations.Most cheap hotels has also poor service. I’ve experienced that many times.So next time I’ll drop by Kuala Lumpur, sure I’ll check in Tune Hotel. Good review.

  36. Central Coast Accommodation Central Coast Accommodation
    August 11, 2010    

    I like the idea of a base room rate with the ability to upgrade. This flexibility allows the user to choose their own experience to suit there budget. If I was staying by myself then I’d use the basic room, with my family then I’d add some perks and if work was paying then I’ll take 2 of everything!

  37. dlf dlf
    August 14, 2010    

    Tune hotels offer “a five-star sleeping experience at a one-star price.” It will be of great help for travelers and tourists on a tight budget!

  38. September 7, 2010    

    tunehotels are great, it is good news to travlers

  39. Bulawayo Accommodation Bulawayo Accommodation
    November 9, 2010    

    It’s good to know that there are cheap hotels that have great accomodations. i have found though that most cheap hotels has also poor service. Thats the compromise. Next time I’ll drop by Kuala Lumpur, sure I’ll check in Tune Hotel. Good review.


  40. Battle Ops Bumblebee Battle Ops Bumblebee
    November 29, 2010    

    Wow, thanks for sharing this article with the rest of us. I’m planning on visiting KL next month, and Tune Hotels sounds like a great budget accommodation for a single traveler like me!

  41. Bissell Carpet Shampoo Bissell Carpet Shampoo
    December 30, 2010    

    I’ve stayed at Tune Hotel before and I loved it! Thanks for letting other folks know about this great place. It’s deffo a favorite amongst budget travellers!

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