What You Probably Never Knew About Netflix's Instant Hotel

Reality TV is SO addicting. Whether it's a dating show, a race around the world, or even just a couple renovating their farm, viewers worldwide are absolutely hooked. According to Psychology Today, we love reality TV because we enjoy learning about other lifestyles. We might want to travel far and wide, have a bed and breakfast of our own, or even see how the rich and famous lead their lives. Reality TV offers a little peek into what things are like outside our circles.

Another reason we are so hooked on reality TV is the drama. When problems aren't our own, it can be more interesting to sit back and see how others might work things out. There's nothing better than relishing in drama that has nothing to do with us and can't affect our lives. We love it, and after watching just one episode of "Instant Hotel," it's easy to understand why. Viewers tune in for gorgeous views of Australian scenery and petty disagreements between contestants. Even if you are an "Instant Hotel" super fan, there is still plenty about the show you might not know.

The show actually isn't a Netflix original

Most viewers of "Instant Hotel" in the United States assume that since they enjoyed the show on Netflix, it must be a Netflix original. However, the show is not on the streaming network in the USA. In reality, "Instant Hotel" is actually produced by Australia's Seven Network. According to Newsweek, Australian audiences saw seasons one and two of the smash hit before they made their way to the USA.

Any news on other seasons of "Instant Hotel" would come from Seven Network and not Netflix. Fans of the show would need to keep an eye on Australian media outlets for any news of upcoming seasons. It's also worth mentioning that, because the show comes from Down Under, any prize money mentioned is actually in Australian dollars, not American. Historically, the exchange rate makes AUD about 30% less than USD (via Yahoo! Finance).

Producers scout contestants on home rental sites

According to Distractify, not all contestants featured on "Instant Hotel" applied to the show because they wanted to get their properties onto reality TV or even because of the fame. In reality, producers for the show scoured home rental sites like Airbnb and VRBO to reach out to interesting properties. Once they found a rental that looked like it had potential, producers contacted the hosts to see if they could set up a time to talk.

If the hosts bothered to get back to producers, they could talk and find out more about "Instant Hotel" and the process. From those initial cold contacts, producers could sort through the replies they got to cast who they think would do best on reality TV. This process makes sense. If a host has a gorgeous property in a sought-after location but doesn't have the personality or work well on camera, it won't make good TV.

The grand prize hotel is owned by Leonardo DiCaprio

Throughout season one, contestants hear that should their property be declared the winner of "Instant Hotel," they'll get to take an all-expenses-paid luxury vacation to an exclusive resort in California. According to Desert Sun, the only property that matches the location and description belongs to Leonardo DiCaprio.

The resort is called the Dinah Shore Palm Springs Estate and is the work of famous mid-century modern architect Donald Wexler. Leo purchased the property in 2014. The home sits over an acre and can be rented for upwards of $4,500 a night with housekeeping. This high price tag can give viewers on "Instant Hotel" a better idea of why most regular folks would only be able to afford a stay here by winning one. Although Leo is the proud owner of Dinah Shore, his name is hardly associated with the property. Instead, he uses it as an income stream and vacation rental property, much as the "Instant Hotel" contestants do with their properties.

You can actually stay at the hotels from the show

If you can't afford the $4,500 nightly price tag to stay at Leo's grand prize celebrity vacation home, you might be able to afford a night at the more reasonably priced vacation rentals featured in seasons one and two of "Instant Hotel." According to research by Bustle, most options are totally bookable. If you're keen to get up close and personal with the properties, you can buy a ticket Down Under and see for yourself

For example, Misty Mountains Resort is near Cairns, the biggest city in tropical Far North Queensland. The property offers luxury villas, a party room with a pole for dancing, and even a large lagoon pool. If you want to visit the iconic Great Barrier Reef, it's nearby, as is the dazzling Daintree Rainforest. With all the options for accommodation, fans of "Instant Hotel" could definitely save time researching places to stay should they ever travel to Australia.

Most fans agree season one was unmatched

If you've inhaled both seasons of "Instant Hotel" and have found that you were left feeling a little bit let down by the show's second season, you aren't alone. According to Student Problems, the new host and format ruined the vibe in season two. The main reason for the lackluster second season was the casting of contestants, namely the glaring absence of fan-favorite pairings like Brent and Leroy, Mikey and Shay, and especially Babe and Bondi. The season two contestants didn't seem to have the same level of personality.

In addition, the shorter six-episode season (as opposed to season one's 12 episodes) left fans feeling cheated out of a complete "Instant Hotel" experience. Finally, fans really missed the dynamic between original hosts Luke Jacobz and Juliet Ashworth, noting that the vibes between Ashworth and replacement host Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen didn't quite work. They felt like Ashworth was overpowered by Llewelyn-Bowen's personality, leaving no room for the banter of season one.

Tristan Gange was in Canada when he started getting recognized

Contestant Tristan Gange competed in season one of "Instant Hotel" in a team with his sister, Bec. The duo had signed up for Seven Network's reality show under the impression that the show would only air locally in Australia. Tristan had no idea the show was on Netflix and airing internationally until he started getting recognized by fans in his new home in Canada.

According to Pique News, Tristan was working at a grocery store in Whistler, British Columbia when a couple of customers at the register asked him if he was from "Instant Hotel." He was confused because he had no idea that the show was airing outside his home country, but this interaction was only the beginning. Thousands of fans began following Gange on social media, doubling his online reach in less than a month. Of course, he also gets plenty of marriage proposals sent his way.

Babe Scott is actually a published author

"Instant Hotel" season one mother-daughter power duo Babe and Bondi were much loved by fans because Bondi lived in well, Bondi Beach. It was all too perfect. Being great at picking out names for her children isn't Babe's only talent. She also has a thriving book business.

According to Babe Scott, when Babe isn't managing holiday rentals, she's baking cupcakes and hanging out with Aussie super hunks. Sounds like the perfect life! She has seven books that cover the basics of baking, hospitality, and even dating. If you're looking for the world's best cupcake recipes, consider picking "Man Candy and Cupcakes." Or, if you would like to know more about how to tell if you and your new beau are compatible in both the dining room and the bedroom, consider taking a look into "Delicious Dating" instead. You can purchase all of Babe's books on Amazon.

The show's editing paints misleading pictures of cast members

Serena de Comarmond was the villain of season one from the get-go. However, she claims this was all due to tricky editing, and she didn't actually behave that badly. According to Distractify, she felt unfairly portrayed on the show because producers wanted a bad guy to make things more interesting.

"What you see on the show is about two minutes worth of a three-hour interview, so all the good stuff was thrown in a bin and all they ever showed was the bad stuff," she said of her portrayal on the show. "When you only see the shade, but you don't see the light, it really paints the villain. That's what happened, and it kind of sucks." Viewers might be hesitant to believe Serena. After all, we saw how she acted, but it's important to remember that when it comes to the magic of reality TV editing, she's correct. Reality TV producers are famous for splicing clips out of context and cherry-picking interview quotes to further a specific agenda (via TV Tropes).

Serena was pushed into calling Tristan from the houseboat

One moment that Serena regrets is the infamous houseboat incident. For viewers of "Instant Hotel," it appears like Serena is inconsiderate and pushy over a misunderstanding about the amount of hot water available on the houseboat. However, according to Distractify, the entire ordeal was actually the producer's idea. She was the last person on the boat to shower, and there wasn't any hot water. She mentioned it was a little cold because of all the use, not because of something being wrong with the pipes, but, allegedly, as soon as the producers heard there was a problem, they latched on to the idea.

They pushed her to call Tristan, the boat's owner. "I'd been texting him as a friend and I knew that he was out with mates. He'd been drinking, he'd been partying," Serena said. "But they were like, 'just ring him, ring him.' It was one of those moments when I was like, 'dudes, I don't want to ring him, I don't want to hassle him.' I hate being told what to do, especially when it's against what I feel is right. But the producers were telling me to do it." She bowed to pressure and saw she looked like an absolute villain on the show.

When cast member Shay Razaei passed away, some said online bullying was to blame

The way cast members appear on the show can go on to have serious real-world consequences. While this is true for all reality TV shows, unfortunately, "Instant Hotel" had a worst-case scenario occur. According to the Daily Mail, Shay Razaei died in June 2020 at 33. There was speculation about her cause of death, as the official reason was not released. Some reports, like those of her former "Instant Hotel" teammate Mikey Gelo allege that Razaei struggled with substance abuse problems and her death likely occurred as an accidental overdose.

However, fans of the show note that since being cast as the show's villain, Razaei received a daily onslaught of abusive messages on her social media channels. Some speculate that she may have taken her own life. However, Gelo asserts, "I do not believe she is the type that would take her own life intentionally. She loved the online trolls and would often instigate them and never block abusive accounts." Fans of "Instant Hotel" should note that, whatever the cause of Razaei's death, abusive messages towards reality TV figures are never warranted. After all, what we see on our favorite shows is what producers want us to see.

Fan-favorite Jannine Barossa also passed away

Unfortunately, there has been another death in the "Instant Hotel" family. According to People, fan-favorite Jannine Barossa passed away on June 21, 2021. Jannine's cause of death was not publicly released, as the family requested privacy during the grieving process. Jannine starred opposite her husband, Mark, in season one of the show. The pair were high school sweethearts and had sweet rapport fans enjoyed watching. For the most part, Mark and Jannine were a realistic, calming presence amid the drama of the other contestants.

Their property on the show featured mid-century decor and was labeled a "Unique Retro Home." It could accommodate up to eight people with two bedrooms and bathrooms. The property's actual name is the Barossa Old Garage Bed and Breakfast. However, it appears Mark decided to close the business after Jannine's passing. The Facebook page is inactive, and the property's website has expired.

The famous trip to the sewage plant was completely scripted

Another iconic moment from "Instant Hotel" that might be movie magic is the trip to the sewage plant in Point Cook, Victoria. According to Distractify, Serena insists that producers chose the spot to give viewers a false impression of the area. Contestants judged their peers on four main categories: 1) The House, 2) Nearby Attractions, 3) Value for Money, and 4) The Quality of a Night's Sleep. If viewers thought that the only thing to do near Serena's property was tour a sewage plant, it would make sense if it scored poorly.

"We planned these amazing activities. We planned to go to this open-range safari zoo," Serena said. "We'd also arranged for Bec and Tristan to go for a flight in a little plane from the war because their grandad had been in the war and had flown a similar plane." However, even if these activities did take place, they occurred off-camera because they didn't fit the narrative of Serena as a villain with an unpleasant vacation rental.

The show inspired tourism to Australia

According to Outlook Traveller, most viewers of "Instant Hotel" finish each episode wanting to know more about the iconic Australian locations featured on the show. Whether you have always wanted to travel to Australia and want help planning an itinerary or never want to visit a country infested with snakes and spiders, "Instant Hotel" has you covered either way.

For example, Debbie and Justin's property in Buddina, Sunshine Coast showcases a classic Aussie beach town. The Sunshine Coast is only about 90 minutes drive from the capital city of Queensland, Brisbane. Viewers see lush views of a bright blue ocean, golden sands, and plenty of good-looking locals enjoying the waves. With locations like these, it's easy to see why 'Instant Hotel" is inspiring tourism, as this is just one property out of the many featured. The show also offers views from other districts in Australia.

Despite the show's success, there are no plans for season three

"Instant Hotel" gave viewers the perfect mix of why we love reality television. We got to take a virtual vacation to Australia and explore the deserts of Coober Pedy and the lush rainforests of Tropical North Queensland, all without ever leaving our house. In addition, we learned a bit more about what it might be like to run a vacation rental property, just in case we ever thought of doing something like this ourselves. On top of all this, whether we hated, loved, or just plain old loved to hate them, "Instant Hotel" is full of big personalities.

Given the success of the first two seasons, most viewers were excitedly waiting for season three. Unfortunately, it never arrived. According to Reality Blurred, there are plenty of articles circulating with fake information about a potential release date, but Netflix nor Australia's Seven Network have said anything about season three. This lack of news makes most of us think that season three will simply (horribly) never happen. The good news is that there are other home shows to stream right now.