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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Tune Hotel Cebu, Philippines (Reloaded)

One company that tries to epitomize value for money is Air Asia. 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. We recently visited the Tune hotel in Cebu City.

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. 

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 day”. That haunted us for a while. Imagine, one has to choose wisely when to flush and when to judiciously use the remaining flush. 

Often, when travelling with friends and sharing room,  I recommend a courtesy flush. As a courtesy to the next user, one should flush the toilet immediately once the bulk of the feces (Tae in Tagalog) comes out, usually this happen in the first 10 seconds upon sitting in the thrown, and another flush at the end of the toilet-sitting process. All of this for the purpose of reducing the aroma and preventing the next user to puke! 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 movements: 1 flush, in that way, we can still have 1 more flush in the morning! Luckily, the hotel considers flushing not as add-on and does not limit the flushing of the toilet. So remember, do a courtesy flush, it doesn't add on to your cost. Thank you very much Tune Hotel for this privilege!

Lights and ceiling fan is included in the price. However, air con is an add-on. You have the option to buy 12-hour A/C for 200 pesos or 24 hour for 350 pesos. We had to argue for a bit whether we need only 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, or in the conference venue for 10 hours, 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 visit several sites for seeing activities.

Each room is equipped with digital recorder that tells you how much more hours or minutes are remaining in your card. Towels are for rent and toiletries are for sale for 90 pesos. Luckily, toilet paper roll comes inclusive of the price. If you used your allotted toilet paper, be prepare to buy your own. Conveniently located is a 7-11 shops on the ground floor.

To our amazement, there is no soap, not even a small amount of antibacterial soap. On the issue 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 once they become the source of bacteria or viruses.

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. For 130 pesos, you will get 24 hours of cable TV.

Remember; don’t buy something you don’t need. Wi-Fi access is also an add-on. For 12 hours access, it cost 120 pesos and 240 pesos for a 24 hour Wi-Fi access.

Towels and Toiletries are add-ons you can decide whether or nor to purchase.

What about towel or towels? Should you rent a towel or towels add-on? Should you rent two or just 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.

After long discussion and compromises, we bought 12 hours A/C and 2 towels and toiletries.

Sorry, no free late checkout. If you want to extend, as expected, you must pay additional. Early arrival is also chargeable. 

Lastly, a piece of advise, if want to be on budget and don’t want to buy add-ons such as towels and toiletries, bring your own essentials when booking at Tune Hotel. 


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