'Budget airline' of hotels ready to open in Melbourne

The low-cost Tune Hotel Group is set to open its first Australian property in Melbourne with $50-a-night rooms.

The hotel in Carlton is opening two weeks ahead of schedule, on October 21.

Tune Hotels, a sister company to budget airline AirAsia X, has pioneered the "pay-as-you-go" model for accommodation, similar to that offered by budget airlines.

Guests pay only a low room rate, but can then select extras such as towels, toiletries, Wi-Fi and satellite television.

The special $50 promotional rate, which is available until October 31, includes the extras and applies to all of the hotel's 225 rooms, ranging from doubles to twins and family rooms.

The cost for a double room will increase to about $65-$100 without extras after October 31, depending how far in advance bookings are made.

A "comfort pack" consisting of the extras will cost $11 at the time of booking online or $15 at reception.

At a handover ceremony at the hotel yesterday, the group's chief executive Mark Lankester said the Melbourne hotel was the first of many planned for Australia.

He said others would open in capital cities including Sydney in 2014, and then possibly in regional areas.

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"Within the next five years we would like to have at least the first four or five [hotels] up, and over the next eight years to stretch that out to 15 or 20."

There are 33 Tune Hotels in eight countries around the world. The first opened in 2007 in Kuala Lumpur.

The promotional rate for the Melbourne hotel – at 609 Swanston Street, Carlton – goes on sale at midnight on Friday at tunehotels.com.

The hotel, which is near Melbourne University, includes a lounge, restaurant/cafe, courtyard, self-service laundrette, computer kiosks and a basement carpark.

Mr Lankester said the group prides itself on its "five-star" beds and "power showers".

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