Located a stone’s throw away from one of the busiest airport hubs in the world, Tune Hotel klia2 has recently unveiled a redesigned buzzy new space to better serve its guests and transit travellers.
Working with two Malaysian interior design firms — All That Is Solid to design a new restaurant and bar; and Tropical Area to design the lobby, courtyard and 16 new guestrooms, the result is a balance of functional chic and eclectic cool.
Indoor-outdoor restaurant, bar and courtyard area
The new restaurant, MAKAN, a literal translation of “eat” in Malay, is an airy, relaxed space that has the look and feel of a modern-day cafe. Mature plants form breakout green spaces at Makan, framing long communal tables with ample plug points, making it an ideal space to recharge and refuel from a long flight. Free high-speed WiFi makes it easy for digital natives to plug-in on the property.
If Makan is the relaxed cafe space, then Minum, their bar, is the naughty little sister. Designed to evoke the back-street watering holes of Malaysia, Minum delivers with a blinking neon sign, pool tables and folded chairs. Tune Hotels tapped graphic studio, Miracle Watts, to design the brand identity for Makan and Minum, resulting in a beautiful yin-and-yang of modern lightness and throwback edginess.
Multifunctional lobby space
For the lobby and new guest rooms, Tropical Area, fresh off their success of The Ritz-Carlton Langkawi, decided to soften the signature Tune black and red with a muted earthy palette of Corten steel, timber and rugs. Recognising that the last thing travellers want at a transit hotel is a soulless welcome, the move was a deliberate design decision to make the huge lobby space cosier and warmer. A bespoke Grab N’ Go is introduced with a small selection of travelling necessities, drinks and snacks. To the right of the lobby, a small open space “library” was built for business travellers to be able to meet on-the-go in the privacy of a convertible room. These new additions to the lobby space are a nod at the growing trends of integrated lobby spaces in hospitality, where lobbies are no longer just transient spaces, but design-led amenities that encourage guests to work or play in.
New Garden Wing Rooms designed for the transit traveller
The 16 new Garden Wing Rooms also signal how Tune Hotels is evolving with the hospitality design trends. As an airport transit hotel, the room is intuitively designed for short-stayguests: open style “wardrobe”, a minimal colour palette of black and white, and a Smart TV that enables personal device casting. The vanity and sink have hooks and large counter space for the traveller’s toiletries, and the signature Tune power shower is now housed in a modern wired glass bathroom. A nice addition of curated toiletries – a collaboration with local apothecary Jeanie Botanicals – and the same 5-star beds Tune Hotels are known for, make the new Garden Wing Rooms a very comfortable stay. At 16 – 19 sqm, Tune Hotels has done away with the traditional desk and chair, but with their public spaces revamped and redesigned, it’s a lot more fun to head downstairs, have a barista-made coffee and work at the restaurant or lobby.
Artwork with a sense of place
Tune Hotels also commissioned new artworks at the airport transit hotel, working closely with Malaysian artist Marvin Chan to create site-specific pieces. Particularly inspired is Marvin’s decision to use discarded plane parts to create two sculptures for the hotel: Stingray, a ceiling mounted piece was created from an assemblage of aircraft antennas; and Sonic Boom, the second sculpture in the courtyard of the hotel which was created from old turbine blades.
“The sculptures were assembled from repurposed plane parts, reassigned from its preceding function, It frames what I can appreciate as how travel can change someone or at least how someone sees things,” says Chan.
All about guest experience
Tune Hotels klia2 started operating in May 2014 when the klia2 terminal opened. CEO of Tune Hotels, Mark Lankester says,“Part of our investment in the upgrading was specifically to cater to guest needs and that involved new room types and configurations. So now we have Double Rooms, Twin Rooms, Family Rooms, new Premium Wing Rooms and the newly created Garden Wing Rooms.”
“Whilst the design and space may vary, all of these rooms come with what are non-negotiable standards: high-speed WiFi to stream content or catch up on emails, five-star quality beds, hot power showers, great food and beverage, all wrapped up with great guest service.”
“Guest experience is at the forefront of what we do and in particular, we will continue to focus on creating new and improved public spaces to allow guests to rest, relax and lounge around more and where possible new guest room design improvements. With the learnings from our klia2 hotel, we can then translate that into similar improvements at our other Tune hotels. Comfort and convenience for all our guests is paramount.”