Tune Hotel Melbourne review

A cool hotel in Melbourne that won't burn a hole in your pocket.

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Newsflash: Accor Hotels took over the management of Tune Hotel Melbourne on 1 May 2016 and rebranded the hotel, which is no known as Ibis Melbourne Swanston Street. 

The review below was published in 2015 when the hotel was Tune Hotel Melbourne.

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The lobby at Tune Hotel Melbourne has a groovy red, white and black colour scheme, with sleek modern minimalist furniture and cool music playing in the background. The mood is upbeat and the décor is funky. It feels almost like I’m checking into an upmarket luxury boutique hotel. Until I’m handed a bag with my towel and toiletries.

Tune Hotel Melbourne lobby


Tune Hotel Melbourne is the 34th property of the Malaysian-owned hotel chain that is pioneering a new concept where you pay for what you use.

The group has 11 hotels in Malaysia, eight in the Philippines, six in Indonesia, five in the UK, four in Thailand and one each in India and Japan. This Melbourne hotel is the first Tune Hotel in Australia.

Tune Hotel Melbourne is both trendy and affordable.

Where is Tune Hotel Melbourne?

Tune Hotel Melbourne

Although not quite in the hub of Melbourne’s CBD and café district, Tune Hotel is a 15-minute walk (or a short tram ride) from the European-style café streets and alleyways of street art.

However, its location is convenient to vibrant Lygon Street, where there’s no shortage of restaurants, cafes and good food.

Why should I stay here?

Tune Hotel Melbourne

Well, for starters, the price seems right. Tune Hotel Melbourne operates on a “pay-as-you-use” concept, which is a new idea for Australians.

The way it works is you pay for the basic room and have the option of adding on other amenities like towels and toiletries, air-conditioning, in-room Wi-Fi and satellite TV service.

OK, so the lobby looks nice. What about the rest?

Tune Hotel Melbourne

The hotel has a functional design. It has an enclosed courtyard, with tables and chairs, a nicely decorated recreational lounge with knick knacks to make it homely, a café (that has good coffee, pastries, sandwiches and cooked breakfast), luggage storage facilities, a self-service launderette and computer kiosks. There’s also a basement car park, which is not that common for a city hotel.

What are the rooms like at Tune Hotel Melbourne?

Tune Hotel Melbourne

Rooms are designed to maximise space (think of a roomy cabin on a cruise ship) and serviced daily.

They come with high-quality basics, such as a comfy bed (I’d venture to say the bed is as comfortable as you’ll find in most five-star hotels).

The layout of the double room works well for a single person travelling on business or a couple, who may not be planning on spending too much time in the room.

There’s a desk and power points conveniently located to charge a notebook and smartphone.

What’s missing?

The hotel doesn’t have a pool, spa, banquet halls, gym or room service.

What about the service?

Tune Hotel Melbourne

The friendliness of the reception staff is exceptional but with only two on duty, there’s often a bit of a wait before being attended to.

What can be improved? 

For the price, I’m not complaining about the size of the room and the lack of power points in the bathroom.

The bottom line for Tune Hotel Melbourne

Room rates start from $50 a night (depending on how full the hotel is on that night) plus extras. If purchased online, the towel and essential toiletries kit costs $2.20.

If you want the entertainment package of television and Foxtel it’s an additional $4.40 and internet access is $6.60. The comfort package (TV, internet access, towel and essential toiletries kit) costs $11. Early check in (before 11am) or late checkout (after 2pm) is $22 extra.

Tip: Purchase your extras online to save money. It costs a few dollars more when purchased at reception on the day.

Tune Hotel Melbourne, 609 Swanston Street, Carlton, Vic, Australia, tel: +613 9347 3027.

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Christina Pfeiffer
Christina Pfeiffer is a writer, photographer and video blogger based in Queensland, Australia. She has lived in three continents and her career as a travel journalist has taken her to all seven continents. Since 2003, she has contributed travel stories and photographs to mainstream media in Australia and around the world such as the Sydney Morning Herald, CNN Traveller, The Australian and the South China Morning Post. She has won many travel writing awards and is a full member of the Australian Society of Travel Writers.