Like AirAsia, the Tune Hotels group is run on the “no frills” concept. From what I heard, Tony Fernandez plans to set up Tune Hotels in every city served by AirAsia. This will put them in direct competition with budget guesthouses long favored by backpackers to
Tune Hotels’ webpage says that the room rate starts “from RM9.99”. That’s cheaper than what backpackers’ guesthouses could offer. So, price-wise, Tune Hotels win, provided that you book your room well in advance. (I am assuming that Tune Hotels have the same pricing policies as AirAsia.)
Well, I said “book well in advance.” If you don't, you may have to pay several times more than the amount advertised. One thing Tony Fernandes hasn’t learned is: backpackers’ don’t like fixed itinerary. We change our plans frequently. That will make booking in advance difficult.
When I visited
Tune Hotels are likely to have similar, nondescript design everywhere they are built. The staffs are likely to wear the same set of red uniform. Also, since Tune Hotels emphasize (over-emphasize) efficiency and cost-cutting, their employees would have to abide by lots of "standard operating procedures", making them more robot-like.
Guesthouses are usually small. They can be found in metropolis like
AirAsia is big in
But wait a minute. Majority of backpackers are Westerners, with a significant number from
So, how will Tune Hotels fare? I believe they will do well in Malaysia, but more work is needed in Bali, Thailand or Vietnam. For now, I will still choose guesthouses over Tune Hotels.
Employees of Tune Hotels are unlikely to be as friendly as this pretty lady of Shinsane Guesthouse in Mae Salong.