Where: Paddington, London, England.
Long story short: Budget conscious and city central.
Short story long: In a miracle of logistics that almost made London feel like a manageable city, it took less than an hour for me to pick up my bags at Heathrow Terminal Five, hoof it across west London on the Paddington Express and be laying in bed catching up on British daytime TV (hey, I kind of miss Jeremy Kyle sometimes).
That surely can’t be a selling point for too many hotels in this price bracket. Hell, I’ve spent more than an hour getting to hotels that sell themselves as AIRPORT hotels thanks to shonky shuttle services and dubious claims of approximation.
And so I’m pretty happy with the first impressions of Tune, a brand I was previously unaware of, but who apparently bestride the globe, having properties across south east Asia and Australia as well as their four London gaffs and an Edinburgh outpost.
I’m (predictably, perhaps) at the Paddington one, handy for my short stay and prime objectives: staying two nights, meeting my friends in central London for a beer and getting back to Heathrow early without a journey that would taunt my hangover too savagely.
Tunes have a concept. Here it is: “Tune hotels feature space-efficient, streamlined rooms focusing on high-quality basics: 5-star beds and powerful hot showers. Though minimally priced, the strategically located hotels provide housekeeping services, electronic keycard access into rooms, extensive CCTV systems, and no access into the main lobby without a keycard past midnight. A ‘pay as you use’ system is in place for optional energy-consuming amenities.”
Well, alright. It’s a low-cost airline business model, and if you want your room cleaned, to watch TV, use a hairdryer or the internet, you pay nominal extra fees. The room is clean when you arrive – PHEW – and since I’m only staying two nights, am bald and can watch TV in the internet, I avoid almost all of those. And the internet charge is WAY less than you would pay in many hotels. First impressions holding out well here.
I arrived early, as a cluster of affluent-looking visitors from the Middle East are checking out, a clientele that was prevalent – north west London and a good deal being an attractive proposition to this demographic, obviously.
The young staff took immediate pity on me and after checking there was a clean room, sorted me out with a key card and dispatched me to my quarters. The reception girl – Spanish, I think – was friendly through her hectic checking out duties and even shot me a conspiratorial smile as a co-worker complained about her boyfriend. Ha. Men. They’re idiots.
Look, for £35 in London, you’re not going to get…well…anything luxurious, but the comfort levels are actually decent. Clean, bright décor and a shower that almost knocked my remaining dormant follicles into action. I bought my own towel – and if you were VERY frugal, you could even use the bathmat. Just saying.
If you lived here for a week and needed a huge desk to plan a military campaign or have a game of Monopoly, yes, the fittings could be more plentiful, but as a stopover and perfectly acceptable base for a flying visit, I can’t fault it.
There’s no restaurant, obviously, but there’s a fairly reasonable coffee machine PLUS you can leg it across the road to the Tesco Metro and get the pre-packed lunch, dinner or drunken supper of your (high street-limited) dreams. I did all of these things.
Champagne tastes: Nothing. Unless you book last minute or at peak times. Spend what you save on the (admittedly overpriced) Paddington Express and have yourself a stress-free airport run.
Shandy Pockets: Everything. I even considered having my room cleaned but got a slightly posher sandwich at Tesco instead.
More HOTEL REVIEWS
Review by Paul Oswell
Tune Hotel, Paddington :