The low-cost Tune hotel chain is on schedule to open its first Australian property in November and is likely to start online selling in July in a pre-opening sale with some of the lowest room-rates in years.
Tune's Kuala Lumpur-based chief executive Mark Lankester was in Melbourne this week looking over the Swanston Street site where the first 235-room hotel will open, followed by another in Sydney in 2015.
Tune is also looking at opening in Perth and Adelaide, from where sister company AirAsia X is considering commencing flights to Kuala Lumpur.
Mr Lankester wasn't giving away much about prices, but said room rates would be "very affordable".
"When we opened in London in 2010 we had rooms for one penny," he said. "As you can imagine, that went ballistic. I'm not sure we can repeat such a low introductory price in Melbourne but the prices (for a limited number of rooms) will be very, very affordable indeed."
The Tune hotel low-cost model is based on a similar concept to cheap airlines. You start with the basics and can add extras.
The basics include a "five-star" bed, hot high-pressure power showers, a central location and 24-hour security. The extras include towels, air-conditioning, wi-fi and TV.
Mr Lankester said regular room rates at the Melbourne hotel could be between $60 and $100, depending on the extras and how far in advance a booking is made.
"The earlier people book online, the cheaper the price," he said.
The Melbourne property, at 607 Swanston Street between RMIT and Melbourne University, will include a restaurant, cafe and courtyard, but true to the Tune model there will be no swimming pools, gyms or meeting rooms.
"It is a quirky and contemporary design, with the principal colours of red, black and white," Mr Lankester said.
Tune has 29 hotels around the world, in the UK, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines. It is also opening in the United Arab Emirates, Japan, Austria, Nigeria and Kenya, among other countries.