Tune Hotels, Tony Fernandes’ effort to take the low cost flight model to accommodation, is moving into Australia with plans to open locations at all AirAsia flight destinations in the country. Its first location will open in central Melbourne in December 2012, which will be followed by hotels in Darwin, Perth and Gold Coast.

The chain operates nine hotels in Malaysia and has also opened locations in BalI and London. With a goal to have 100 locations by 2015, there are also plans to open more hotels in Indonesia, as well as several in Thailand and the Philippines.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports AirAsia does not currently fly to Sydney, Australia’s largest city, since the Malaysian government has blocked it from the route to protect its national carrier, Malaysia Airlines (MAS).

Tune Hotels works on the principle that hotel rooms can be booked like airline seats, with rooms going for as low as AU$5 (US$5.30) a night if booked well in advance. The chain’s rooms are somewhat small but feature ‘one-star beds’ and a ‘power shower’, which along with air conditioning were identified as a traveler’s most important needs. Like budget airlines, some less necessary standards become chargeable extras and TVs, wifi and refrigerators are a few more dollars extra per night.

Australia currently has only one low-cost hotel operator, Formule 1 (owned by France’s Accor) which has operated for two decades but with only moderate success.

source & article: Sydney Morning Herald