Billionaire Tony Fernandes to open Tune Hotel in Nairobi

Malaysian tycoon behind AirAsia Tony Fernandes
Malaysian tycoon behind AirAsia Tony Fernandes. PHOTO/COURTESY
Tony Fernandes, the Malaysian tycoon behind AirAsia, is set to open a budget hotel in Westlands, Nairobi, as he seeks to expand his global hotel business.

The 11-storey, 280-room Tune Hotel, which was built at a cost of Sh2.9 billion, will be operating on a ‘no frills’ model, where guests only pay for the amenities they use and are charged discounted fees for early bookings.

“We often check into hotels when we travel and we really do not get to use all the facilities a room or indeed a hotel can offer, like lounge chairs and baths,” says Stuart Clay, GM of Tune Hotel Nairobi.

“We do not want to charge you for these or other things you do not use so we have done away with many of them. We will offer guests all what they may want from a hotel at a pocket friendly price.”

The model works by giving customers a fixed fee for a room and separately charging for food and extra amenities utilised.

Mr Fernandes, who is also the owner of English Premier League club Queens Park Rangers, picked Kenyan investment firm Imaran Group and UK-based Queensway Group as local partners.

Tune Hotels currently operates about 45 outlets in the United Kingdom, Malaysia, Australia, Indonesia, Philippines, India and Australia.

The opening of the Tune Hotel Nairobi offers hope to Mr Fernandes’s business empire that has plummeted in value in recent months following criticism from financial analysts over its accounting practices.

The facility joins a growing list of global hotel brands such as Villa Rosa Kempinski, Best Western and Radisson Blu that have recently set up shop in Nairobi to cash in on the city’s rising profile as a regional business hub.