Thursday, January 19, 2012
Tune, A Truly Budget Hotel
The Digital Recorder
One driver of consumerism is value for money. For people who live in Singapore, one way to get value for money is to cross the causeway. Often, it’s probably half the price on the other side of the bridge. From petrol, to car accessories, to car wash, to massage, to nasi lemak, and so on, people are driven as to how they can stretch the dollar (Singapore dollar).
One company that tries to epitomize value for money is Airasia. It goes one step further by having a budget hotel. Originally from Malaysia, now it has hotels in United Kingdom, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines.
The Hotel’s concept is to provide a limited service but guaranteeing a good night’s rest, of course, this includes a power hot shower at reasonable price. It removes the expensive full service such as availability of swimming pools, spas, saunas and room service. Other amenities are strictly on a use-pay basis.
Booking a hotel with Tune Hotel is like booking an airline ticket. It’s a user-friendly homepage that gives you a one-stop link to choose which cities you are spending your night. While booking a room, it reminds me that the interface looks almost like booking a budget airfare.
The hotel itself provides basic amenities. At some point, we wondered whether the water is limited just to 2 quick showers! If this is the case, I don’t recommend this to friends who take especially long showers. Fortunately, showers are not limited at the hotel. Another issue that piqued our thoughts is “What if flushing is limited to 2 flushes per booking”. That haunted us for a while. Imagine, one has to choose wisely when to flush and when to conserve the other remaining flush allowed per room. Often, when travelling with friends, I recommend a courtesy flush (look it up if you don’t know this…. http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=courtesy+flush). By adopting the principle of courtesy flush, that will easily used up two flushes minimum. Other options also came to our discussion board, such as 2 bowel movement:1 flush, in that way, we can still have 1 more allowed flush in the morning! Luckily, the hotel considers flushing not as add-on and does not limit the flushing of the toilet. Thank you very much!
Lights and ceiling fan is included in the price. However, aircon is an add-on. You have the option to buy 12-hour A/C or 24 hour. We had to argue for a bit whether we need 12 hours or if buying 24 hours A/C is too excessive. If you’re going out and doing a city tour or shopping most time of the day, then I recommend that you just book 12 hours instead of 24 hours A/C. Most likely, half-day A/C is enough especially if you have plans to get out of the hotel and be a tourist.
Each room is equipped with digital recorder that tells you how much more hours or minutes are remaining in your card. Towels and toiletries are for sale as well. Luckily, toilet paper roll comes inclusive of the price. Notice, I use singular to refer to paper roll (not rolls), be prepare to use the paper wisely.
To our amazement, there is no soap, not even a small amount of antibacterial soap. On the point of view of infection control, a small soap should not be an add-on; instead it should be a complementary. Imagine, couples that are stingy, may not necessary buy soap, which can be a health and hygiene hazard. What do you think?
The room is decorated with advertisement, the concept looks like familiar?
Watching TV or cable is also an add-on. If you don’t purchase the codes, you won’t be able to turn on the TV. The remote control is deactivated. Good for couples who don’t need distraction while in the hotel. If your friend (or wife) wants to watch TV at night before sleeping, let her buy the TV add-on. Don’t buy something you don’t need. If TV add-on was purchased, feel free to be sneaky and watch free TV courtesy of your partner who wasn’t able to control her impulse to watch TV or movies (Oprah? Ellen? Glee? Friends? Spartacus? Game of Thrones? Its always sunny in JB?)
For women who wants to use the hair dryer, don’t get excited prematurely when you see that all toilets at the hotel are equipped with hair blowers. This won’t work until you pay additional fee. What did you expect? Hair dryer is not a basic amenity; it’s a luxury you must pay if you want to use.
Towels and Toiletries are add-ons you can decide whether or nor to purchase.
What about towel or towels? Should you buy a towel or towels add-on? Should you buy two or one? Why not share the towel so you’ll pay less? Or better yet, why not use your used T-shirt as your temporary towel so you don’t have to pay towel add-on.
Take note, its entirely up to the consumer what is absolutely needed, and what are the things that are non-essentials. If your with your travelling partner or your better half, it might involved an hour or two or three discussing, or even arguing as to what add-ons will you pay solely or amenities you will pay 50-50.
We bought 12 hours A/C and 2 towels and toiletries after much discussion.
If you’re the person who doesn’t need A/C at night, and can sleep comfortably without it, don’t buy the A/C package. It might be your lucky night if someone else cannot stand a night without cooler breeze. Most likely, by close proximity, you will be benefiting and enjoying a 16 Celsius of free A/C.
Massage on a budget? Try the coin activated massage
Free or not free? This one is an add-on.
In the morning, we had more than 3 hours of A/C add-on unused.
Sorry, no free late check-out. If you want to extend, as expected, you must put on the bill.
Lastly, a piece of advise, if you want to be on budget and don’t want to buy add-on such as towels and toiletries, bring your own essentials when visiting a the Tune hotel.
Ps. Cebu pacific, a Philippine budget airline has its own budget hotel as well, its called gohotels… It’s probably the same?