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We Tune In And Out Of Tune Patong Phuket

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  Site Where: 56 Raj – Uthit 200 Pee Road, Patong, Thailand, 83150
February 20, 2014 at 8:34 AM | by | ()

Budget-brand Tune Hotels has been aiming to spread like wildfire from its origins in Kuala Lumpur, bringing core values of 5-star beds, power showers, and cleanliness for wallet-friendly prices to 100 hotels around the world by next year. We’ve checked it out in London, and have our eye on their plans in the United States, but what is Tune like outside a major capital? Does it still deliver for a non-city stay?

We tested just that by staying the night at Tune in Patong, Phuket – one of the more recent additions to the brand. On the western coast of the island, Patong is one of the major tourist centers of Phuket (more on that later) and the Tune is about ten minutes’ walk from the main beach. A taxi from Phuket airport takes about 45 minutes.

What We Liked

- Tune certainly lived up to its value-for-money ethos: we paid 950 Thai Baht ($30) for the room and 370 Thai Baht ($11) for air-conditioning, TV, WiFi, a towel, and toiletries. Paying for air-conditioning isn’t optional, which we understand given the hot and humid Thai climate. WiFi worked consistently throughout our stay.

- Calling it a 5-star bed is maybe a bit of a stretch, but the bed was comfortable and clean. The white sheets add to the sense of cleanliness, and with the light wood headboard and the two light fixtures it’s a nice, streamlined look.

- The bathroom, as basic as it was, was functional, and the large shower space with glass partition is a good set up. Water pressure was acceptable.

- Staff were cheerful and friendly during the limited interaction we had with them. When checking in, you are handed a red knapsack with towel, soap, and shampoo, as well as the TV remote. Your key card activates the air conditioning and lighting in the room. Reception made rather a point of the need to give back the remote at check out and the charge incurred if we didn’t. We get that all kinds of things disappear, but still – why on earth would we to take that thing with us?

What We Didn’t Like So Much

- Not really a dig at Tune itself, but we weren’t so taken with Patong. It’s pretty overdeveloped, the beach isn’t particularly beautiful, and the cheap restaurants, Irish/English/Belgian pubs and nightclubs attract a certain demographic that brings an atmosphere we wouldn’t be looking for on a Thai beach holiday. While waiting at the airport to leave, we saw someone at the next gate wearing a locally-bought T-shirt that read in big, bold letters: “No, I don’t want your f*cking suit, tuk-tuk, or massage, thank you very much”. Way to stay classy, man. And the star is our addition, by the way.

- That said, the hotel’s location may put you in the heart of the action, but it doesn’t make for a particularly relaxing environment, something you may want to keep in mind if that’s what you are looking for. Request a room away from the main road out front if you want things to be quieter, but don’t plan on having any views to speak of out the window.

- When we made our way up to our room, the entire floor had just been cleaned, with the hallway freshly mopped – a good sign. All guestroom doors were propped open, which we found a bit odd. Just as we were settling in, we were asked to move to a different floor altogether; not a major problem, but a bit of a hassle.

- While the room and bathroom were clean, the bathroom had a whiff of eau de sewer to it that was persistent throughout our stay. The shampoo bottle is tiny, but is surpassed by what must be the teensiest, saddest square of soap we’ve encountered in a long time. Don’t expect to get a lot of mileage out of it washing off the long and humid Thai days, is all we’re saying.

All in all, in some ways the same adage is true for a Tune Hotel in a beach town as it is in a major metropolis: if you know what you’re signing up for, for the money it is pretty good. You could certainly do a lot worse.

Don’t think though that at this particular Tune you are going to find quiet, beach-side isolation on a budget. For that, you will have to venture somewhere other than Patong.

[Photos: JasonD for HotelChatter]

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