Australia’s biggest export to Netflix has been a host of reality shows, including Back With My Ex and Australia’s Cheapest Weddings. The latest of these is the brilliantly kitsch Instant Hotel, a competition show that sees couples visiting each others’ Airbnbs (or instant hotels) and scoring them out of ten.
You get to see some of Australia’s more unique places to stay as well as some lush apartments and downright bland houses. As the show goes on, peoples claws come out as they fight for the best instant hotel which makes for the usual reality TV drama. But most of all, it provides a hit to the veins for anyone who’s after a bit of house-porn.
Here is our rundown of all the hotels from season one and two from the show - ranked.
13 Serena & Sturt’s Sanctuary Lakes, Outside Sydney
Throughout the series, Serena and Sturt went out of their way to put all the other contestants’ homes down only to invite the visitors to their house next to a man-made lake in a cookie-cutter housing estate.
The house is no longer available to rent because Serena left the country, but was a great size and fairly neutrally decorated but it was in a soulless location with nothing to do around it but go to a sewage treatment plant. Lovely.
12 Mikey & Shay’s Mansion, West Pennant Hills
One of the most talked up houses in the series by a pair of the least likable contestants, this home was very old fashioned and comes with fish, a turtle, and several cats that you have to look after - on your holiday.
The house looks like it was decorated a few decades ago and hasn’t been touched since. While it’s got a nice swimming pool and tennis court, those things don’t quite make up for the dreadful interior.
11 Lynne & Simon’s Surfer’s Paradise, Gold Coast
This instant hotel might be in a great location but the decoration in this beach adjacent home was strange, to say the least. While the interior design and stark white furniture might not be to everyone’s taste, thanks to its outdoor bar and fun-sized swimming pool, this would be a great instant hotel for anyone looking for a party vibe.
10 Brent & Leroy’s Blue Sage, Port Douglas
Even though they kept telling everyone that they had backgrounds in interior design, this instant hotel would be drastically improved if half of all the stuff in it was removed entirely. It was a beautiful home in a good location if you were after a sleepy, relaxed getaway but the decoration was an eyesore with fake plants and prints of plants everywhere.
While the swimming pool is nice, it did need the water fountain to cover up the traffic noise.
9 Gene & Sharon’s Misty Mountains Resort, Cairns
It might have come close to winning the second series but watching the finale, it was quite a relief to not see Gene and Sharon take the prize. Throughout the show, there’s a feeling from a lot of the contestants that they don’t understand why their taste isn’t for everyone and that’s never more evident than with this couple.
Unfortunately brash, loud, and over the top isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.
8 Mark & Jannine’s Unique Retro Home, Barossa Valley
This awesome home was a love letter to all things '50s Americana. It has Coca-Cola advertisements and merchandise everywhere as well as and diner booths and road signs in abundance which is what made it great.
The thing that’s evident when you see this episode of the show is how much the owners loved it and how much it meant to them to have people like it. It might not be the nicest of the instant hotels, but it’s certainly the one most filled with love.
7 Jay & Leah’s Beach Bungalow, Portsea
It was one of the more quaint properties from the show but this cute beach house would be perfect for a few friends looking for a few nights away. While advertising it as a beach bungalow even though it’s a 20-minute drive from the beach might have been a mistake, you’d not have to look far to find places worse than this.
While it was brightly-colored throughout, it was nicely decorated and felt very much like a home - which you want from an instant hotel.
6 Bec & Tristan’s Class Act, Mildura
Another of the more unique stays, the Class Act houseboat was owned by the most relentlessly happy couple to appear on either series. The brother and sister welcome their guests on this cool boat which gave them the option to not just stay in one place but go up and down the Murray River and see the sights that border New South Wales and Victoria.
It might have needed a bit of work but you’d easily overlook that because come on, it’s a houseboat.
5 Adam & Kathy’s Top End Hideaway, Humpty Doo
Built by the owners, this modular home was first up on the show and set a pretty high bar. Super modern and taking up just a small proportion of the property’s overall land, this is the perfect getaway if all you wanted to do was relax by a swimming pool with a book. Okay it had a lot of bugs - but that’s the case in a lot of Australia, right?
4 Razz & Mark’s Fire in the Stone, Coober Pedy
There weren’t many instant hotels on the show that gave the visitors a really different experience to the usual nicely-decorated house in the tourist traps of Sydney and the Gold Coast.
Razz and Mark’s place in Coober Pedy, however, is the definition of different. Far away from the beaches of Australia, this instant hotel is dug into the red rocks and would be a unique stay for anyone looking for something a bit different.
Babe & Bondi’s Beachside Apartment, Bondi Beach
Coming so close but just failing to seize the winning spot in the first season, that doesn't mean Babe and Bondi’s beach-side isn’t worthy of making it high on this list. Literally, just several minutes' walk from one of the most famous beaches in the world, this trendy apartment is bright and modern.
With its off-piste decorations and nickname of Margaritaville, it would make the perfect getaway home for any bachelorette party.
3 Samantha & James’ Beach House Retreat, Byron Bay
While it might be James’ parents' house - something that many of the contestants seemed to take umbrage with - this beautiful house is just a short walk from the beach while being one of the more modern in the competition.
With its huge outside spaces and decadent swimming pool, this is without a doubt somewhere you could imagine getting a load of friends together to hang out and have yourselves a backyard barbecue.
2 Debbie & Justin’s Penthouse, Gold Coast
The winner of season two doesn’t quite get to the top of the list but it’s not for a lack of trying. This beautiful open-spaced penthouse sits atop a block of apartments overlooking an incredible bay, quay, and beach and after the changes made to the place following the first round of the competition, this sleek property is without a doubt somewhere anyone would be happy to stay if they’re visiting the area.
1 Terry & Anita’s Sleek Queenslander, Brisbane
The deserved winner of the first season, Terry and Anita did the most to their instant hotel ahead of the series finale. It really showed and helped them win the competition. This suburban house is designed like many properties you now see on home-sharing sites but to the nth degree. It’s big, bright, airy, and has a killer back yard for grilling up a barbecue.