Malaysian football tycoon set to open Nairobi Tune hotel in June


Malaysian tycoon Tony Fernandes. PHOTO | AFP

A hotel associated with Malaysian tycoon Tony Fernandes, who owns English Premier League club Queens Park Rangers (QPR), is set to open the doors of its Nairobi outlet in June.

The opening of the budget Tune Hotels in Westlands will see it become the latest international hospitality chain to invest in Kenya.

The 11-storey, 280-room facility which cost an estimated Sh2.9 billion will be operating on a ‘no frills’ model, where customers only pay for the amenities they use and are charged a discounted fee for early bookings — typical of budget airlines.

“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, general manager of Tune Hotel Nairobi.

Under the hotel’s limited service model, customers get a fixed fee for the room and are then charged separately for food and extra amenities at a cost of about $100 (Sh10,200) a night.

“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.”

Mr Fernandes, who is also the owner and founder of budget airline Air Asia, picked the Imaran Group, a Kenyan investment firm, Queensway Group, a private company based in the UK as partners.

The fourth partner is Despec, a global IT, office supplies and real firm as the consortium to lead his hotel’s entry in East Africa.

This syndicate recently acquired land in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, where they plan to start construction within the year as part of multi-billion shilling plan to build 15 hotels in the region by 2019.

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

The hotel chain will be joining the likes of Radisson Blu, Villa Rosa Kempinski and Best Western that have recently picked Kenya as an opportune investment destination.

Other global hoteliers seeking to enter the Kenyan market include Accor-Pullman, Park Inn, Ramada, and Mövenpick.