Luke Jacobz is the host of Seven’s brand new show – Instant Hotel. In it, couples compete to see who has the best home accommodation in Australia by hosting their competitors and being judged by not only them, but also award-winning designer Juliet Ashworth. I sat down with the show’s very charismatic host to chat more about what we can expect in this new series.
Huge congrats on Instant Hotel Luke, I’ve watched a couple of eps of the series and am hooked! For those who don’t what it’s about, how would you describe it?
Instant Hotel is about people who open up their homes to let other people rent them while they go away on holidays. They literally want to make their house a hotel and it’s a competition to see who has the best one in Australia. We have a really diverse group of people which means there are also diverse styles of houses, areas and prices.
Why do you think that there is such a trend towards staying in “instant hotel” style accommodation rather than traditional hotels these days?
When you’re staying in someone’s instant hotel, you’re staying in someone’s house so you feel much more relaxed and at home. You have a full functioning kitchen, a laundry and you don’t have to pay for any extras. Usually when you go into an instant hotel there’s details on what to do in the local area too.
In a hotel they might just show you expensive restaurants, but in an instant hotel they’ll show you the best ‘sneaky’ restaurants and the best coffee in town – you have authentic local knowledge at your fingertips.
On the whole what did you think of the contestants’ instant hotels? Which one would you want to stay in if you had to pick a favourite?
There were some really amazing ones. There are some teams that have obviously been using their houses as instant hotels for a while because they’ve learnt along the way how to change it and adapt it to make it even better. A few were just starting out with their instant hotels and they’re brand new into the market.
There are a few that I loved because of the quirkiness and I think it would be a novelty to go and stay there, but the one I particularly liked was because it was really close to a beach in the sort of area I would love to go to. It had great restaurants, bars, outdoor activities, and things to do nearby, but also, if the weather is terrible, you can spend the entire week in the house and entertain yourself there.
You’ve done a fair bit of travelling given your line of work, in your opinion what makes for a good accommodation experience? Do you have any standout hotels that you’d recommend?
The traditional kind of hotels depend on what you’re looking for and who you’re staying with. I look for a hotel where you have a lot of facilities as well as suites where you’ve got a bedroom and somewhere you can sit around and have people over. I love balconies because I travel for good weather and want to be outside. I’ve had some bad experiences where you walk in and it’s nothing like the photos that have been sent. But I’ve had an amazing experience in San Francisco, we went up to an instant hotel in Napa Valley and it was a beautiful little yellow cottage with sweet furniture, five minutes away from vineyards, shops and it was great.
A good accommodation experience for me is really friendly staff, a clean hotel, and lots of restaurants, bars and shopping close by. I don’t want to get in a taxi to go to dinner then back in a taxi to go to the next place. I want to be able to walk everywhere.
I’d love to know, if you were to host an instant hotel, what would your concept be?
If I were to host my own instant hotel, I would want it to be like a Greek islands kind of Santorini resort. Nice and open, lots of white, sunsets and seafood because I love the ocean.
As an avid traveller, I’m sure you’ve come across some pretty epic foodie spots. Where are your top places for brekkie in Sydney?
I’m always keen to try new places and take other people’s recommendations, @breakfastinsydney is a great resource for that! I’m loving Bread and Circus in Alexandria at the moment, it’s a goodie.
And your must-visit restaurants or cafes in LA?
Bao – it’s a fantastic dumplings place on Melrose. Yumi Sushi on Santa Monica is delicious. I also love Veggie Grill which is up on Crescent Heights and Sunset.
Last but not least I’m dying to know – can we expect a second season of Instant Hotel?
So many people want to Instant Hotel their house so I hope so!
Instant Hotel airs on Tuesday nights at 7:30pm on the Channel 7 network
Luke and I caught up at Urban Projuice in Melbourne. Luke enjoyed the fritter deluxe: sweet potato and carrot fritters with tofu ricotta, minted peas, pomegranate, dukkah and harissa coyo served with a fresh herb salad + a poached egg, I had the Buddha bowl with marinated tempeh, sugar snap peas, carrot and zucchini noodles, broccolini, sauerkraut, quinoa, roasted pumpkin and a turmeric dressing.