Love Island: Behind-The-Scenes Secrets Of The New South Africa Villa Revealed

HuffPost jetted off to Cape Town to snoop around the ITV2 show's stunning new home.

1. The winter Love Island villa is located in a Cape Town suburb in South Africa, and is about a half an hour drive from the city centre.

2. For the first January series, the show’s home was relocated from Mallorca – where it has been based for the last five years – due to the weather, as Spain is not hot enough at this time of year.

3. The new property is worth a reported £5.3 million, and is owned by a local South African woman.


4. The villa is a reported 14,531 sq ft, which is twice the size of the Spanish villa, although producers told us the actual floor space they have to play with is around the same.

5. There are more cameras than ever before – a whopping 80 cameras will be watching the Islanders’ every move, which is nine more than in the villa in Mallorca.

6. Work began to transform the property into a familiar Love Island location at the start of November, but members of the production team made numerous recces there prior to that.


7. Construction has seen the usually open-plan property (which you can see in its original form here) divided up to create all the rooms necessary for the Love Island villa.

8. For example, the back wall of the upstairs living room is completely fake, with panoramic, sliding doors hidden behind it.

9. There’s also a whole separate wing of the villa to the left of the front door, which won’t be used on camera internally.

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10. Much of the familiar Love Island set pieces like the fire pit are made in the UK and shipped over to South Africa. Other materials came from local suppliers.

11. The construction was undertaken by around 25 UK builders, plus many local crews for different aspects like decking, metal work etc.

12. There is a production village over the other side of the perimeter fence behind the day beds, where the crew work round the clock to make the show.


13. The pool is exactly the same length as the one in Mallorca – producers even measured it to confirm that surprising fact.


14. The fire pit is the biggest the show has ever had, meaning they can fit more Islanders around it. Hmm…


15. For the first time ever, the villa is split across three floors, with the garden also boasting three levels to it.

16. The staircase connecting all the tiers of the garden was built especially for the series.


17. Islanders will not be able to access the lowest tier of the garden from the ground floor though, meaning host Laura Whitmore and various bombshells can make their surprise entrances without being spotted.

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18. However, producers also told us the configuration of the new villa will give them more options for different walk-in shots.

19. Like Mallorca, the Cape Town villa uses an outside kitchen, which we were told is to encourage the Islanders to spend more time outside. It is located on the top deck of the garden next to the upstairs living room and pool, and has views of Cape Town’s iconic Table Mountain.

20. But as ever, the Islanders will not be cooking much, as lunch and dinner are provided for the Islanders by on-site caterers.

21. The kitchen is also constantly restocked with snacks and drinks, ensuring the contestants never go hungry or thirsty.


22. All of the grass in the garden is fake (despite the villa having originally having real grass prior to construction) – as are most of the plants, presumably because the contestants would forget to water them.

23. Some false perimeter walls have been added to the garden to house “camera hides”. These allow camera men to stand filming some of the action while going unnoticed by the contestants.

24. Producers also told us they added this particular hide on the top deck of the garden to give them 270 degree views over the entire property – a first for the show.

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25. Islanders are not filmed in the toilets, but there are microphones to ensure every conversation is picked up and that there are also no emergencies in there.

26. The bathroom is fully stocked with a plethora of beauty products, some from the show’s own range, and others from commercial partners Garnier.

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27. The traditional dressing room is kitted out with hairdryers, straighteners, curlers and make-up stations for the contestants to primp and preen themselves before a hot date.


28. Brand new for 2020 is a boys’ dressing area, which is half-way up the hallway staircase, and over looks one of two living rooms.


29. This downstairs living room is also host to another new addition, called The Dog House, which is a fold-down bed any naughty Islanders can sleep in when their partner kicks them out.


30. The bedroom is located behind the downstairs living room and has enough bed-space for 14 Islanders.

31. The bathroom and girls’ dressing room is accessed by a brightly lit corridor from the boys’ dressing room.

32. For the first time, the bathroom has two showers next to one another, as well as a spa-style jacuzzi bath.


33. On the other side of the first-floor landing is the Beach Hut, which is accessed using an electric locking system, as seen on the back of the door below…

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34. Islanders have to go through a short corridor to the Beach Hut, which also has a room used for production storage.

35. The Beach Hut looks pretty much the same as it has since series one, giving viewers a sense of familiarity. However, there are some new cushions this year.


36. When the contestants are sat in the chair, their view is much less glamorous:

37. The Hideaway is also accessed through a corridor at the top of the second floor landing.

38. As well as having a bed, terrace and hot-tub, there’s also a toilet and a secret cupboard that producers will stock with treats for Hideaway inhabitants.


39. At the front of the property, there is this ominous set of stairs, which actually lead around the back of the garden so the crew can reach the top of the property and the production village without the Islanders seeing them.

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40. The site is guarded 24/7 by a security team to keep the Islanders and the crew safe, while there is also always a medic on site.

41. On arrival at the villa, all guests must use anti-bacterial gel to minimise the spread of germs and Islanders getting ill.

42. Producers will return the villa to its original state before handing it back to the owners at the end of the series.

43. We’re told the summer series will come from the show’s usual home in Mallorca, although the villa will have some “tweaks” to reflect some of the changes introduced in the Cape Town pad.

44. Oh, and if you’re wondering where you’ve seen the property before, it was used in the Black Mirror episode in which Miley Cyrus appears as Ashley O. Here she is in a scene filmed in what is now the Love Island villa’s upstairs living room!


Love Island begins on Sunday at 9pm on ITV2.

Callum Jones

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