The Pune based Talera group has opened a 50-room hotel in the vicinity of the Deccan Gymkhana area. It is located in a lane connecting Apte Road and Fergusson College Road.

The hotel, called Smart Inn, has a base cost of Rs.865 and Rs.965 for a single and double room respectively, but the difference lies in it’s use of technology to the optimum.

It begins with a touch screen self check-in kiosk, eliminating manual check ins. The rooms are air conditioned, with a flat-screen LCD TV, Wi-Fi enabled rooms, rain showers and coffee makers.

The hotel offers dial-a-meal services from 40 restaurants in Pune besides vending machines for snacks. However, there is no in-house restaurant, and I think that could be a hindrance for travellers. While it is possible some guests may want to sample the culinary delights served by eateries in Pune, I’m not sure people will want to do this two times a day, everyday.

If you’ve been in a business meeting all day long, it is much simpler to visit the in-house restaurant for lunch / dinner, rather than pickup the phone to order a meal which could take 45 minutes – 1 hour in arriving. However, this is a minor irritant, considering most business travellers often have working lunches or dinners with their clients or vendors.

This is similar to the chain of Ginger Hotels that have been set up by The Roots Corporation, a subsidiary of Indian Hotels, a Tata group company.