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Hotel check: Tune Hotel Paddington
Background The Tune Hotels brand is part of the Tune Group, which also owns the Malaysian carrier Air Asia. The budget hotel brand is well established in Asia, with properties across Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines, and it debuted in the UK in 2010 with its first London hotel opposite Lambeth North tube station.
This was followed by a property close to Liverpool Street station at the start of 2012, as well as this Paddington hotel in June, and a King’s Cross property at the start of July. Further hotels are also under discussion in the capital, and Edinburgh will gain its first Tune Hotels property in December.
The brand offers no-frills accommodation including a comfortable double bed and ensuite shower room, with guests able to choose from paid-for extras such as a towel package, TV access, wifi internet connection, in-room safe, hairdryer and a universal travel adaptor.
What’s it like? The Tune Hotel Paddington property is housed within a former office block close to the main entrance to St Mary’s Hospital on busy Praed Street. The ground-floor reception area was smart and bright, and manned by friendly, helpful staff who also operate the adjacent coffee and snack kiosk.
On arrival guests are given a welcome leaflet detailing emergency procedures, check-out times, local transport, shopping and eating options, and charges for optional extras.
The majority of rooms have windows, but there are a number of cheaper, windowless options available at a discount – I took a look at one of these and it was as you would expect – the same facilities but without any daylight.
Where is it? Around five to ten minutes’ walk from Paddington station, with links to mainline rail services, the Bakerloo, Hammersmith and City and District and Circle Underground lines, and the Heathrow Express. There are plenty of restaurants and bars within walking distance, and a Tesco Express is located opposite the hotel.
Room facilities As you would expect from a no-frills chain, rooms are simply furnished, but feel smart and modern. My room 409 had dark wood flooring, white walls with one wall featuring a light green wave pattern, a Samsung flatscreen TV, hairdryer attached to the wall, safe (all of these work only if the additional payment has been made), a hanging area with four hangers, a shelf and a mirror, a double bed with duvet, two pillows and storage space underneath, two perspex bedside tables, and bedside lights.
There was also a socket by the bed, and another two behind a small fold down ledge on the wall – it couldn’t really be described as a table due to its size, and the fact that there is no chair, but it was useful for placing devices on when charging. Air conditioning is individually controlled, and free to access (unlike in some of the group’s Asian properties where it is chargeable).
The curved bathroom pod was again very simple, with a toilet, basin and shower (which was a good size but could have done with being more powerful).
Overall I found the room comfortable, and perfectly adequate for an overnight stay, although I’m not sure I would want to be based there for longer stays.
Additional extras can be purchased either in advance at the time of making the reservation, or on arrival, but for best value an online “Comfort package” costs £7.50 and includes 24 hours of wifi internet connection for one device, one day’s TV access, unlimited hairdryer and safe access, and one towel package (comprising of one towel, a soap bar and a small container of shampoo).
Alternatively extras can be purchased separately, with example prices including £3 for 24 hours TV access (or £7 for 72 hours or £10 for unlimited access); £1.50 for one hour of internet access, which can also be used through the computers in the terminals (£3 for 24 hours or £10 for unlimited access); £2 for the in-room safe, £1 for the hairdryer (both active for the entire stay), and £3.50 for an universal travel adaptor.
Other charges include £2 per bag per day for luggage storage, and £7.50 for the option of additional cleaning and change of bed linen, over and above the standard servicing every third night of the stay.
Restaurants and bars The café next to the reception sells tea, coffee, cold drinks and a limited range of snacks and sweets, and there are also two computer booths in this area offering paid-for internet access.
Business and meeting facilities None
Leisure facilities None
Verdict The Tune Hotels brand is not going to appeal to those looking for plush rooms with minibars and walk-in wardrobes, extensive public areas and room service. But those looking for a reasonable rate in a modern property within walking distance of Paddington station may find that this hotel fits the bill.
How many rooms? 137, of which 70 are double rooms with windows, 22 are double rooms without windows, 36 are twin rooms with windows, two are twin rooms without windows, five are accessible double rooms with windows, and two are accessible twin rooms with windows
Room highlights The smart, simple décor, the storage space under the bed for luggage, and the fold down ledge with sockets for charging devices.
Price Tune Hotels operates a dynamic pricing structure, meaning that in general the earlier you book, the cheaper you’ll get the room for. Lead-in rates start from £35 without extras – when Business Traveller checked on July 12, 2012 for midweek prices in mid-September (post Olympics), October, November, December and January we were offered the following prices:
- September 2012: Double room with windows £75, without windows £60
- October 2012: Double room with windows £60, without windows £45
- November 2012: Double room with windows £60, without windows £45
- December 2012: Double room with windows £60, without windows £45
- January 2013: Double room with windows £55, without windows £40
Contact Tune Hotel Paddington, 41-47 Praed Street, London W2 1NR; tel +44 (0)207 258 3140; tunehotels.com
During July Business Traveller is giving one lucky reader the chance to win a two-night stay at the new Tune Hotel King's Cross - for more information and to enter click here.