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Sunday, December 28, 2008


Are they still playing my tune?

I wrote a review of Tune Hotel in Kuala Lumpur some time back. Have returned there recently as I stopped over in KL on my way to and from India. I think an update is appropriate.

They now have a safe in the rooms, big enough to hold a laptop and more. I had some difficulty reading the instructions which are printed on the door. The positioning of the safe on the floor means that one needs to get down on the floor to read it and if your eyesight is not great for reading, the small type size is not going to help. On the first of my recent visits I only stayed one night and gave up trying to figure it out. On the second visit I stayed two nights and ended up asking the front office staff for instructions. It's easy when you know how: just enter a pin number of your choice followed by the hash key and the door locks. Repeat the same pin and hash and the door opens again. Just don't forget your pin.

If you want air-con at Tune it's an optional extra. I'm not big on air-con. I prefer to live without it. As regular readers of this blog know, a little heat doesn't bother me. In my room in Bangkok I would turn on the air-con when I came in on a hot day and leave it on for about ten minutes. That was enough to bring the room to a temperature that suited me. On a really hot day I would turn it on again no more than once an hour for about five minutes.

At Tune you pay in advance for five or twelve hours of air-con. This is registered electronically on your keycard. On the first of my recent visits I probably used about half of my five hours. When I checked out I asked if the balance could be credited for my next visit. They said 'no'.

On the second visit I once again took five hours. I used my usual method of conserving electricity. In fact the weather wasn't hot. I arrived during the evening. I went out for breakfast and a walk the next morning. When I returned the air-con was not working. I figured I'd used less than an hour of my five. I went to the counter and a staff member, ever-polite, came to check it for me. He had an electronic card that he said could check to see if there should be any balance in my account. The card showed I had none.

Now there are two possibilities, either I made a mistake or the card did. If I made a mistake I am a long way out. I reckon I'd used less than one hour. You figure it—five minutes maybe five times, even if you double it, that's less than an hour. But five??? I suggested the technology was faulty but he politely told me it is never faulty and if I want more air-con I'd have to pay for it. Well, I'm afraid I don't believe in paying for something twice. I declined.

Watch this space. Next time I go to KL I'll be reviewing another budget hotel.

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