Instant fame for local pair in ‘Instant Hotel’
PORT Douglas is in for a massive publicity boost thanks to a new TV series, Instant Hotel, which premieres on the Seven Network very soon.
The 12-part series involves participants from all over Australia, including a residential couple from Port Douglas, Leroy Belle and Brent Beach, who have operated the Orchid Hill holiday house in Port Douglas.
Each week the production brings the cast to stay in the “instant hotels” created by each hosting couple.
According to Leroy and Brent, the weather was perfect – in the wake of Cyclone Debbie, as it happened – and the district was at its best.
It is typical in each episode for the visiting couples to go and out sample the local attractions, and not just the accommodation they’re staying in.
“I think the viewers are going to see how fabulous Port Douglas looks,” Leroy, an interior designer, told the
“We said to each other ‘it couldn’t be looking any better’ – which is fantastic because at the end of the day we want the star of this whole thing to be Port Douglas, because this place has been sitting under wraps for too long.”
“It’s just great to see something we sometimes take for granted through the eyes of people seeing it for the first time.”
“And one of the most dramatic moments in the series take place up here,” added Brent.
“Quite an interesting moment.”
The invitation to take part in the series was a bolt out of the blue.
They got a phone call from a producer, took part in some tests and found themselves advancing through the ranks to finally they were among the chosen contestants for the series itself.
“The whole thing just happened,” said Leroy.
“A lot of people had applied for the show but we weren’t two of them!”
The men say it was a fascinating and worthwhile experience but involved a crazy amount of travelling and lots of hard work.
At times they were travelling with eight suitcases and on the road for three weeks, returning to Port for about 36 hours and then off again.
And you spent a of time with the other people on the show.
And a lot of waiting around on set.
“We used to call it ‘hurry up and wait’,” Leroy said.
“They’d mike you up at 6:30 am but then on site you could be standing around for hours while they re-shot something and then the light had changed.”
Brent and Leroy expect nothing about their lives to change from the heavy exposure of the TV series, but they do find it amusing that their friends in Sydney – the couple moved to Port Douglas nearly five years ago – report seeing their faces whisking by on the back of Sydney buses lately.
Brent Beach and Leroy Belle
Instant Hotel is about to premiere. One episode is centred on Port Douglas