London Hotels Insight provides up-to-date, independent advice for your perfect stay in London. We research guest feedback, meet management and identify hotels at the top of their game.
Fine-Tuning your stay in London.
When I was told that the concept of Tune Hotels was that you only had to pay for what you used, I had visions of having to ask what the surcharge was for friendly staff or how exactly I could avoid a colossal fee for paying by credit card when they didn’t accept cash – as you mostly do when using ‘budget’ other things (OK… airlines).
My visions couldn’t have been further from the truth. When I walked in fairly late at night, tired and having flown in on a nasty budget flight to Stansted, I was surprised at the efficient and business-like feel to the whole check-in process – which took less than 5 minutes.
I was staying at the Tune Paddington which is handily located a short walk away from Paddington station, in an area with a great buzz, cosmopolitan cafés and restaurants, the smell of shishas and French bakeries and – best of all – opposite a 24 hour Tesco Express supermarket, ideal for a last-minute toothpaste or bottle of water purchase. Tune is arguably the most conveniently located of all cheap Paddington hotels.
When I entered the room, the first thing I noticed was the relatively hip décor in pleasant white and light green combined with dark wood. The room had all the essentials: a large bed, a flatscreen TV on the wall, funky bedside tables and lamps and somewhere for your suitcase and to hang up your clothes. OK, there was no mini-bar but who will feel the urge to pay £3 for a packet of peanuts with a 24/7 supermarket across the road?
The bathroom was very clean and shiny. It looked as though nobody had used it before me (the cleaning staff are clearly perfectionists) and the sanitary ware was a very stylish premium Villeroy & Boch. It may be nerdy of me to have noticed but I’m sure anyone who stays here will appreciate the fantastic shower without feeling the need to check out the brand.
My room was insulated and I could independently select my preferred temperature or turn off the air-conditioning if I wanted. What excited me most was that I could actually open my window to get some fresh air – not a given in London! I really can’t stand feeling as though my room’s hermetically sealed in and here thank goodness it wasn’t.
After traipsing around London – because you can’t stay in London without traipsing – I returned to my room and an extremely comfy bed. It was above and beyond what I’d usually expect of a budget hotel - with a firm mattress, soft pillows and wonderfully cosy white cotton duvet. I found out later that Tune buys luxury Hypnos ‘5 star’ beds which are used throughout their properties within their Westminster, Liverpool Street, and Kings Cross hotels. This is exactly what you need after a busy day and gave me that satisfying feeling of getting extra value for money.
With Tune, you can basically pick and mix your room rate according to your requirements. This makes a lot of sense. Why would you pay for everyone else who may want their rooms cleaned and towels changed every day when you don’t need or want that? At least here, you have the option. And who doesn’t love a good ol’ pick ‘n’ mix anyway?
I found the prices for the extras reasonable: £3 for WiFi, £1 for the use of a hairdryer for your entire stay and £2 to leave your bag there all day. I also know plenty of people who wouldn’t have any qualms about paying £15 for a 1pm check out, when other hotels don’t even offer that option. They call it ‘fine-tuning your stay’ which I think is quite clever.
And for those who are still wondering… no I didn’t have to ask what the surcharge was for friendly staff as they were all delightful. When I asked Karen where to go for breakfast in the morning, she actually went the extra mile to ask me what I fancied before making the perfect suggestion.
I left feeling satisfied after a good nights’ sleep and shower, with that great “I now have extra money to enjoy myself” feeling that puts a spring in your step especially if you aim to see London on a budget. I’ll now suggest this hotel to anyone who’ll listen and if you want to learn more, check out the behind-the-scenes tours that my fellow London Hotels Insight bloggers recently conducted of Tune Paddington and Tune Liverpool Street.
Photo credits: Tune Hotel Paddington, London Hotels Insight blogger Timea.
Disclosure: Marie-Helene was a guest of Tune Hotel Liverpool Street.