Thursday 2 January 2014

Melbourne’s new budget hotel accommodation both well located and excellent value.

It’s not that many years ago that the concept of a cut-price airline, which charged extra for things such as checked-in luggage, meals and entertainment, just wasn’t on the travel agenda.

Over the past few weeks, chats to industry acquaintances and mature-age friends have brought similar scepticism about Tune Hotel Melbourne, the first, but I bet not last, of the chain’s establishments in Australia.

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The idea at Tune, which has about 40 hotels in the UK and Asia, mainly in Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and The Philippines, is that you pay a bargain-basement nightly room rate, then add on things such as television, wifi and even towels as extras if you want to use them.

Not that wifi is always available as a complimentary feature in Australian accommodation, but that’s another issue entirely.

Quite frankly, I rarely watch TV in hotels, simply because I’m usually busy doing other things, and I pick up the news from the net, which I bring with me on my own wifi device. I do like plenty of plush towels supplied, but I know plenty of young travellers who’d happily bring theirs with them if it saved a few bucks.

unnamed (3)The Melbourne version of Tune is certainly attractive in terms of basic set-up. The rooms are clean, bright, modern, attractive and functional, if a tad smallish — but, then, you’re not paying anything like you would for an inner-city suite in that city.

The on-premise café has similar qualities, apart from the smallish, and provides decent coffee and breakfast for not very much. Most people would quite happily use it as a business meeting place, especially given its location.

And location is something that TuneHotel Melbourne has in spades — on Swanston Street, just about right on the cusp of the city and Carlton.

You can comfortably stroll up to the Italian quarter in Lygon Street or to Little Bourke Street’s Chinatown. The tram stop outside will take you through Carlton to Brunswick and Coburg in one direction, to the city, South Melbourne and St Kilda in the other.

Rates for a basic double room are $65 per night, and you’ll pay an extra $15 or so for a 24-hour wifi connection, TV access and towels for two.

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