As most fans know, reality TV can be split up into several different categories. There are home renovations shows, competition shows, and shows that simply follow subjects around waiting for drama to be sparked. Those of us whose life-blood is reality TV tend to favor one category over the others, believing its somehow better. However, every once in a while, a new show pops up, seemingly out of nowhere, that combines all the best parts of the many different sub-genres, making it appealing to viewers in all the reality television camps. Right now, Instant Hotel is that show.
Instant Hotel originally began airing on Australia's Seven Network back in 2017, and in December 2018, the show's first — and only season, so far — arrived on Netflix. The premise of the series is that teams of two homeowners who have transformed their homes into Airbnb-like rentals are judged by one another and an interior design expert to see who has created the most desirable instant hotel. The contestants stay the night in each instant hotel and score each pair on the home, its location and nearby attractions, value, and quality of the sleep they got during their stay. Just like when you rent an Airbnb, the team whose home is being judged also gets to score their fellow contestants as guests, which factors into their final scores. It's a bit like TLC's Four Weddings, only with instant hotels, if that means anything to you. Even if you're a reality TV purist who usually stays in one lane, only occasionally dipping your toes into other sub-genres, this show is worth checking out because it has so much to offer.
Interior Design Nerds Will Be Instantly Drawn In
First and foremost, it's a real estate reality show. Lovers of House Hunters, House Hunters International, and House Hunters On Vacation will be delighted by the opportunity to look inside ten different vacation homes all over Australia and learn from design expert Juliet Ashworth. Each team's instant hotel is so different, there will be a favorite for every viewer — including fans of the more obscure House Hunters spinoff, Houseboat Hunters.
There's Sabotage & Retribution Involved
Unlike with HGTV's beloved home-finding series, Instant Hotel contestants compete for a grand prize, which, in the first season, is an all-expenses-paid stay at a Californian instant hotel. With this prize at stake, some teams begin to sabotage others, which inspires retaliations. It's got a specific kind of endlessly entertaining drama that harkens back to the golden age of reality TV competition shows including early seasons of Survivor and The Mole.
The Relationships Dynamics Are Fascinating
Instant Hotel also features a certain aspect of documentary-style reality television series like The Real Housewives. Besides judging the homes, viewers can also judge the contestants and the relationships and interactions both within and among teams. Like in The Amazing Race, the various teams are made up of many different types of partnerships. There's a mother-daughter pair, newlyweds, siblings, business partners, and even a duo that insists they're just friends, despite the clear presences of sexual energy between them.
It's Like Going On Vacation Without Leaving Your Couch
Like Housewives or Keeping Up With The Kardashians, there's a wish-fulfillment element to Instant Hotel. We may not ever get a chance to vacation in a five-bedroom home in Brisbane, with a welcoming open floor plan, lush green space, and relaxed vibe for $592 a night, but we can watch others stay there and scrutinize every inch of the place perhaps even more thoroughly than if we were actually there.