Instant Hotel Season 1 Review

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: December 28, 2018 (Last updated: November 13, 2023)
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Instant Hotel Netflix Review


Exactly what it says on the reality-TV tin, Instant Hotel is about what you’d expect from a show in which couples stay at (and rate) each other’s accommodation.

Debuting on Netflix today fresh from the sunny climes of Australia, Instant Hotel is a predictable reality television series hosted by smiley presenter Luke Jacobz. Strongly reminiscent of British show Four in a Bed, Instant Family concerns couples, all of whom own various accommodations, spending time in each other’s businesses and rating the experience.

You know the routine. Did they get a good night’s sleep? How was the location? Were there nearby attractions? Value for money? It’s that kind of thing, but Australian, so naturally everyone is better-looking and happier than their British counterparts, which I suppose is to be expected.

I’m not the target demographic for this kind of thing, but it’s squarely aimed at people who have noses for reality TV and can suss out which contestants are in it for the experience and which are there to sabotage everyone else’s efforts just to ensure they win. It’s clear that a lot of the contestants are just saying whatever they can dream up to get attention; making mountains out of molehills to manufacture conflict and secure their fifteen minutes of fame, which is obviously straight out of the genre playbook. People who like that kind of thing will like Instant Hotel, I’m sure.

Jacobz (clearly uncomfortable with a lot of the conflict, fake or not) is joined by designer and judge Juliet Ashworth; they’re like a really good-looking mother and son, which is fitting considering that all the couples on Instant Hotel have different compositions – some are romantic, some are family, some are platonic, and there’s some fun to be had in figuring out if these people really have the relationship they say they do. (That’s far from the point of the show, but my mind was wandering.)

But all of this you’ve seen before. Instant Hotel being set in Australia certainly helps it – North Queensland and Melbourne are a lot more aesthetically pleasing than their Brutalist British counterparts, and it’s always a riot to see pretty, happy people gradually come to despise one another. If that’s your kind of thing then Instant Hotel will provide it, but it won’t provide anything you weren’t expecting to begin with.

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