“Charge ’em for the lice, extra for the mice
Two percent for looking in the mirror twice
Here a little slice, there a little cut
Three percent for sleeping with the window shut
When it comes to fixing prices
There are a lot of tricks I knows
How it all increases, all them bits and pieces
Jesus its amazing how it grow”
Thénardier – ‘Master of the House’ – Les Miserables
Do you know the scene? The dodgy Innkeeper Thénardier and his wife sing about all the extra charges they tack onto their guests room bill. OK so it is ficticious, would hardly happen these days and in no way am I suggesting Tune Hotel Downtown Kuala Lumpur was anything like Thénardier’s hotel in the story.
But lets turn this around, so what if you stay in a hotel and dont watch tv or connect to the wifi should the cost come down? What about those little bottles of shampoo or body lotion, if you dont use them should you pay for them? Tune Hotels operates this way and while paying for optional extra is not a new concept, they have stripped it to the bare bones, like in the way a low cost carrier operates, and it seems to work well – maybe because it was started by the same guy that started Air Asia – Dr Tony Fernandez.
When I recently visited Kuala Lumpur with Air Asia and attended the Air Asia Red Hot Party Taylor Swift Livery Launch, I decided to test out the Tune Hotel Downtown Kuala Lumpur in keeping with the Air Asia theme and booked myself a single room for one night. Starting from the flat rate of just the bed and add extras such as TV use, wifi and air conditioning for 12 or 24 hours (added individually or as a package), towel soap and shampoo use, breakfast and even early check in or late check out. My booking was made up of the following:
Room Fee: MYR75.40 / AUD24.82
24hr A/C + 24hr TV + 24hr Wifi + Towel & Toiletries: MYR36 / AUD11.85
Breakfast Set: MYR10 / AUD3.29
Early Check In (from 11am): MYR15 / AUD4.94
Early Check Out (up to 2pm): MYR15 / AUD4.94
TOTAL MYR151.40 / AUD49.84
Fifty bucks!? Mmmm, sounds to good to be true, doesn’t it? Is Thénardier going to suddenly appear charge me extra for the mice? (or the lice?). No.
Tune hotels operates over 40 hotels across the globe with this concept with the Downtown Kuala Lumpur hotel located at 316 Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, very close to a large shopping centre and the city’s monorail. Apparently the building was an old hospital that had been converted to a hotel, so I was told by people I met at the Air Asia party, “It’s haunted” said one fellow…
I arrived at the hotel an hour before my 11am early check in and was advised I would have to wait untiln that time, that was fine, I knew I was early. The young lady behind reception desk offered me a half an hour internet pass with which I caught up on a bit of Facebooking. I felt sorry for the backpackers who had obviously arrived very early and were almost asleep in the lobby. After the internet pass ended I headed to the shops across the road and bought a few cold drinks and was back right on 11. However, I needn’t have crossed the road as there was a 7-11 convenience store and a small San Francisco cafe in the building adjacent the reception area. At 11am, the rather quiet reception desk was suddenly full with 3 party’s checking in and quite a few people checking out, however it wasn’t long before I received my swipe card and a bag with my extra’s.
As I made my way to the room, there was a bit of a ghostly feeling about the hallway, but it was clean and tidy and there were no apparitions to be seen.
Walking into the room I was pleasantly surprised at the modern amenities and streamlined contemporary feel. although slightly on the smaller side, it was suitable for one person for the night. A window gave views below to the restaurant next door and the busy street below. The air conditioning was needed to be turned up a little for me and the room was cool within a few moments. I couldn’t find the TV remote anywhere, until I looked in the bag they had given me.
The cute recyclable bag came with a towel, small soap and shampoo and, of course, my remote for the TV. Unfortunately there wasn’t much on TV in English, but I don’t mind watching foreign shows, trying to work out what is going on!
The bed, a single, was of high quality, something Tune Hotels are proud to call ‘5 star beds’. There was a bedside table and small safe which was easy to operate. The bed was really comfortable and I got a good night sleep. In the morning I popped downstairs to the San Francisco Cafe and handed in my breakfast voucher for the San Francisco set – scrambled eggs, 2 chicken chipolata’s and a hash brown and while it was nothing special (or worth a photo I thought at the time) it was good enough to start my morning of Kuala Lumpur sightseeing.
I returned to the hotel at around 1pm, exhausted from the tropical Kuala Lumpur heat just as a monsoon-ish downpour occurred. It had been over 24 hours since I had checked in, so the air conditioning, TV and Wifi and ended. As it was getting closer to check out time, I realised I had to go back out in the repressive heat, get to the airport and hang around until my flight at 11.40pm, so I decided to head down to reception and enquire about extending my stay. For an additional MYR60 / AUD19.85 I stayed in the room for up to a further 12 hours and for MYR12 / AUD3.95 have the air conditioning, TV and Wifi turned back on. This was heaven – there’s nothing worse than checking out of a room only to hang around for a flight! After a few Singha beers from the 7-11 and a couple of hours nap, I was refreshed and ready to head to the airport.
It was a pleasant and ultra cost effective way to spend a night in Kuala Lumpur, and I wouldn’t hesitate to stay there again as its clean and you can spend as little or as much as your needs require – even if you get all the extras its still very good value – with no mice, or lice or ghosts from the past!
FreakyFlier paid for his stay at Tune Hotel Downtown Kuala Lumpur