Never use hotel toiletries? Couldn't care less about hotel TV? Travel with your own Internet connection? Then you're exactly the sort of business traveller that Tune Hotels is hoping to woo with its new hotels in Melbourne and at Sydney Airport.
The chain promises "a five star sleeping experience at a one star price". Gone are all the extras included with your room rate: wifi Internet, TV, even air-conditioning, hairdryer, towels and toiletries. Instead, you'll pay a few extra dollars for each of those, if you want them.
With business travellers increasingly familiar with small hotel rooms thanks to the chic Yotel brand, it'll be interesting to see whether the Tune model attracts frequent travellers.
Tune isn't planning to skimp on the beds, mind: "high quality spring mattress beds with pillows, pillowcases, bed sheets and 250-thread count duvets" are promised.
Prices for each service vary by country, with different prices for Tune hotels so far in Malaysia, Indonesia, the UK, Thailand and the Philippines. The UK rates (and their rough Australian equivalents) are:
- Wifi Internet: GBP 3/day = A$5
- Towel & toiletries: GBP 1.50 = A$2
- TV: GBP 3 = A$5
- Safe: GBP 2 = A$4
Air conditioning doesn't come as an extra in the UK, but the other Tune hotels come in at roughly A$7 for 24 hours of air-con credit. Note that you only use the credit when the air conditioner is running -- so when you're out of the room and have removed the air con card, you won't be charged.
Add-on packages bundle up several of those options, saving a few pounds over picking them individually. The trick will be to ensure that business travellers feel they're getting all-in value for money rather than being irritatingly penny-pinched for every last thing.
Not all rooms in Tune hotels come with windows, but at an airport or city centre location that's not necessarily a dealbreaker. Many business travellers would value a silent and completely dark room at night-time over a view of a car park or the side of a building.
Security measures (always a concern at hotels at the lower end of of the price bracket) include CCTV, keycard access, on-duty security guards, restricted public access to the hotel, and an in-room safe.
Tune's concept won't be for every business traveller, but at the price-sensitive end of the market, or when more fully serviced options are booked solid it's an attractive proposition.
The Melbourne Tune Hotel, set for Swanston Street, is planned for August 2013, with the Sydney Airport location following afterwards. The Sydney Morning Herald reports Tune Hotels' CEO wants at least six hotels in Australia within four years.
If you're heading abroad, you can find Tune Hotels online at tunehotels.com or in London, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines -- more than 20 in total.
About John Walton
Aviation journalist and travel columnist John took his first long-haul flight when he was eight weeks old and hasn't looked back since. Well, except when facing rearwards in business class.