Never did I think I’d experience prison life, but earlier this summer I found myself locked up in a cell… well, kind of. I had a one-of-a-kind night’s stay at the Ben ‘N’ Binge retreat in west London where Three, in partnership with Samsung, had set up a Netflix-themed hotel. About a dozen rooms were built in the grounds of Osterley Park, all paying tribute to a particular show, from The Crown to Narcos.
As the last party to arrive, we ended up with Orange is the New Black – the simplest of the ‘suites’ complete with a metal bunkbed and wet room in lieu of a shower – but also the most fun when it came to dressing up. Each room was decked out with props to help you get into character; in our case, orange jumpsuits and handcuffs. And while guests in next door room The Crown were served their dinner on a silver platter, we were handed our grub on a plastic tray. Basic it was, but incredibly fun! The menu also gave a nod to various Netflix shows, such as ‘Orange is the fresh fruit platter’ and ‘A Colombian criminal’ taco, while cocktails served at the bar in the Samsung Lounge included ‘Kimmy’s Dream’ and ‘The Demogorgon Repellent’.
Of course, dressing up as jailbirds wasn’t the reason for our stay. The Ben ‘N’ Binge retreat by Three, run in partnership with Samsung, was all about binge-watching. We were given a Samsung Galaxy tablet on arrival which had Netflix on it and hence, access to hundreds of programmes. The retreat was set up for dedicated TV junkies to take binge-watching to the next level – eat, breathe and sleep their favourite show.
Research conducted by Three has found that we are a nation of binge-watchers. Apparently, Southampton residents are the biggest Game of Thrones streamers, and Glasgow is the city where most people have watched a show on Netflix. One fifth of Londoners watch a show live to avoid missing out, while viewing habits in Cardiff are most influenced by celebrities – who knew? Brits love to binge; 53 per cent use binge-watching to de-stress, while one third of 25 to 34 year-olds talk to friends and family about what they’ve streamed. Collins English Dictionary even made ‘binge-watch’ its word of the year in 2015.
With this in mind, Three has launched Go Binge, a service that allows its customers to use Netflix, TVPlayer, Deezer and SoundCloud without worrying about data consumption and charges. The Bed ‘N’ Binge retreat may have closed shop for this summer, but we’re hoping it’ll be back next year to jump into those orange suits again.