In Five Star Hotel, reality TV stars Spencer Matthews, Joey Essex, Lydia Bright, Holly Hagen and Ashley Cain attempt to run a hotel on a Greek island (E4, weekdays from Monday 12, 10pm).
The service might be patchy, but the hotel looks divine. Here’s everything you need to know if you want to check in.
Where is the Five Star Hotel?
Ios, a dinky Greek island. It’s one of the Cyclades islands, which lie off the coast of Athens, in the azure Aegean Sea.
What’s it really called?
Unsurprisingly, the hotel usually goes by a different name: Relux Ios Hotel.
And it’s not five-star: it’s a four-star boutique hotel located in the island’s port, a 10-minute walk from the beach. The Relux Ios opened in 2015 and has 17 rooms and suites.
How much does it cost to stay there?
The guests who appear in the programme didn’t pay a penny: the bill for their flights, accommodation, meals and drinks was footed by Channel 4. The crew installed cameras in the hotel for eight weeks at the end of summer, when the season was coming to an end.
If you want to stay there this summer, prices start at £83 for a Superior Room per night in June, plus a €3 tourism tax.
If you’re feeling flush or don’t mind sharing with your mates, Junior Suites and Superior Suites sleep four and come with a private outdoor jacuzzi. They cost £135 and £150 per night respectively.
Ex On the Beach star Ashley Cain wishes he had time for a dip in the pool
In late June and July, Superior Rooms costs £120, rising to £175 in August.
All rooms include breakfast and are subject to a €3 tourism tax per night.
Relux Ios scores an impressive 4.8 out of 5 on Expedia.co.uk. (Perhaps that’s why they changed the name; Spencer and co don’t get such a high rating from their guests.)
Is there much to do on Ios?
Ios is one of the most popular islands in the Cyclades. It attracts a young crowd because it has more than its fair share of bars serving up colourful cocktails and throbbing dance music.
In high season, the party starts at midday at its most popular beach, Mylopotas, and keeps pumping until the early hours. You can also do all sorts of watersports, from paddle and wake-boarding to jet-skiing and windsurfing.
If you venture a little further from the town of Chora, there are plenty of secluded golden beaches on the southern coast, perfect for sunbathing in peace and swimming in the emerald sea. The island’s tranquil east coast is popular with families.
Chora is one of the Cyclades’ most picturesque towns
Chora itself is a delightful place to while away an afternoon, meandering up and down its labyrinthine alleys.
At the top of the town is a blue-domed orthodox Greek church with a breathtaking view, especially at sunset. You can also explore the ruins of a 14th century Venetian castle and catch a musical concert at the amphitheatre above Chora.
The amphitheatre is named after the Greek poet Odysseas Elytis
How do I get there?
There’s no airport on Ios. The closest airport is on Santorini, which has regular ferries to Ios. There are also ferries from Athens’ port several times a week.
Santorini is famous for its blue-domed churches
Santorini is one of the most popular islands in the Cyclades. Its whitewashed villages cling to cliffs, overlooking the sparkling Aegean; and its volcanic beaches have black and multicoloured sand. (Lydia Bright was a big fan – she’s planning to return for a holiday this summer.)
The Cyclades is perfect for island-hopping, so you can easily explore several islands on one trip.
Its most famous island is Mykonos – Greece’s answer to Ibiza. Party animals dance all night at superclubs at night, and sleep on its beautiful beaches during the day.
Five Star Hotel is on weekdays on E4, 10pm