EasyJet and AirAsia expand their no-frills hotels

Low-cost airlines easyJet and AirAsia have both extended their no-frills concept to the hotel sector. Similar to low-cost airlines, easyHotel and TuneHotels.com are keeping rates low by offering limited service and a pay-as-you-use system for extra amenities such as towels. The no-frills hotels encourage guests to book online and the further people book their stay, the cheaper the room. With small, clean and modern rooms, they cater to those on a budget, and tourists who spend most of their time sightseeing. Says Tunehotels.com’s CEO, Mark Lankester: “[Our guests] appreciate being able to spend less on a room they will only really spend a few hours in, while still having peace of mind that they will be getting a good, safe night’s sleep at the end of a full day.” 

In August 2005, easyHotel opened its first property in London’s Earls Court and it just opened its 12th location in Berlin, and its next opening will be in Porto in summer 2010. The budget hotel will also unveil its first property outside Europe, in Dubai, later in 2010. Chargeable facilities including satellite TV, wifi, luggage storage and extra towels. The group now has six properties open in London (including hotels at Heathrow and Luton airports), as well as hotels in Basel, Zurich, Budapest, Sofia, and Cyprus. Room prices start at EUR 15 to 25 per night.

TuneHotels.com opened in May 2007 in downtown Kuala Lumpur and is co-owned by AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes. The hotel offers a bed and a bathroom, but extra’s such as soap, towels and air conditioning cost more. The chain currently runs 8 hotels in Malaysia and Indonesia (Bali), including one at Kuala Lumpur airport. In Asia rooms have been available for as little as EUR3 per night. The no-frills hotel just announced it will open its first hotel outside Asia in London Westminster, near Waterloo station in the second half of 2010.

TuneHotels.com has ambituous plans to operate 100 budget hotels by 2015, with 15 properties to be located in London, 20 across India and the remainder across Asia, most notably in Thailand. TuneHotels.com also said it is in discussions to open 20 hotels across the Middle East. Meanwhile, in the United Arab Emirates, Sharjah-based low-cost carrier Air Arabia will open a budget hotel at its home base Sharjah International airport in the first half of 2010.

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