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sep 25

Southeast Asia: $3 for a no-frills hotel room

A Tune Hotel in Kuala Lumpur (Courtesy Flashpacking Life/Flickr)

Similar to low-cost, transportation companies like Megabus, Asian budget chain Tune Hotels uses a "demand-based pricing system," where early online bookers can get rooms for as little as $3 a night (room prices vary for walk-ins, but run about $25). The first property opened in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in spring of 2007, followed by an outpost in Kota Kinabalu (in Sabah, a state on the island of Borneo in East Malaysia) this year. In December, five more hotels debut in Malaysia, including in Penang and Kuching.

The hotels have the bright colors of giant billboards. Rooms are spartan to say the least and guests pay only for what they use. That means there are additional charges (about $1.50 each) for towels, toiletries, hair dryers, in-room wi-fi (it's free in the lobby), and A/C (though all rooms come with a standard fan).

There's no meeting room, pool, gym, or spa. Forget room service or minibars. And while the chain experimented with in-room televisions in Borneo, its spokesperson told us that future hotel rooms will be without TV or radio.

The company prides itself on offering comfortable beds and power showers: "The mantra is a great sleep, great shower, in great locations within hotels that are clean and provide great security on site," said chief executive officer Mark Lankester.

Construction is underway for approximately 30 other sites across Southeast Asia and the company hopes to have 100 hotels in Asia over the next few years with locations in Bali, the Philippines, and Thailand.

Stay Tuned.

What do you think of this concept? Would you stay in a Tune Hotel?

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Note:This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.

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