It will come as no surprise to viewers that the number one requisite for contestants in Seven’s new reality show Instant Hotel, is cleanliness.
Just the slightest coating of dust, hidden or not, or smudge of something, even inside a bathroom cabinet, and it will be pointed out and commented on not only by the official judge but fellow contestants. And then, horror of horrors, what started out as someone proudly showing off their home, will have the potential of becoming a monumental embarrassment for all Australia to see.
Those moments, mixed with the elation of owners getting nothing but praise for their homes-come-hotels are what Instant Hotel host Luke Jacobz says will define the show. Tapping into the worldwide trend of homeowners renting out their homes as holiday accommodation, Instant Hotel will see 10 teams of two competing for the title of Best Instant Hotel.
The 10 “hotels” are located all over Australia including three in Queensland – Cairns, Gold Coast and Brisbane. They will be scored on: the house, location, nearby attractions, value for money and the all-important quality of a good night’s sleep.
Luke,who is well-known to Australian audiences for his work on Home and Away, The X Factor and Dancing with the Stars (which he won in 2008), is full of praise for the show’s judge Juliet Ashworth an award-winning designer, who has worked on over 100 projects across Australia and Asia.
He said he didn’t think the former editor-in-chief of Vogue Magazine and now partner and creative director of an internationally noted design company, specialising in luxury hotels and resorts, was a “harsh” judge. “I think she is really fair with her three main requirements being cleanliness, cleanliness and cleanliness. She just points out the obvious,” he said.
A splash of sauce on the ceiling of a microwave is not missed. Luke said he was keen for viewers to see what lengths teams went to in transforming their homes to give their competitors a taste of that hotel experience. “It’s going to be great to be a fly-on-the-wall, when personal taste is not to everyone’s taste,” he said.
“It’s more what people think of other people’s houses and if they put their noses up and say ‘this is terrible’, the people on the show love to give their opinion.”
“You ask them ‘what do you think about it? And sometimes their answers we may not be able to print’.”
As for Luke’s taste in hotels, he likes them to be central, have a pool and a gym. As for hotel no-nos, he has a few, including Queen and King-sized beds that have two smaller mattresses side by side on the top. And he thinks all hotel rooms should have Wifi and “throw in free in-house movies rather than charging $14 for just one”.
Juliet said she had stayed in several home stay properties around the world-some fantastic and some not so fantastic.
“So I think this is a great opportunity to show people who are wanting to rent out their own home, what works and what doesn’t,” she said.
“I’ll be judging the overall experience – was it ghastly or would I go back? Everyone has different ideas on what makes a stylish home but, when you’re charging people to stay there, certain rules must apply.”
Instant Hotel is on Weekdays on Channel Seven at 7.30pm, find them on Facebook @InstantHotelOn7