Real Housewives in Hong Kong? The city’s return to reality TV, as Ultimate Girls Trip season 4 is rumoured to start filming in January – RHOBH cast members Garcelle Beauvais and Sutton Stracke included

Real Housewives including Garcelle Beauvais, Sutton Stracke and Ashley Darby are rumoured to be heading to Hong Kong to film an upcoming season of Ultimate Girls Trip. Photos: @suttonstracke, @garcelle/Instagram; Bravo TV, Reuters
Since the early days of showbiz, Hong Kong has set the scene and been the backdrop to a vast array of international films and television shows – but that all came to an abrupt end in 2020 as the pandemic wreaked havoc in the entertainment industry and the city enforced some of the world’s most stringent restrictions.

Now, only weeks after Hong Kong flung open its borders to international quarantine-free travel, buzz on the reality TV circuit is that Bravo’s popular Real Housewives franchise will be filming an upcoming season in the city.

Here’s everything you need to know …

Real Housewives in Hong Kong?

Rumour has it that The Real Housewives will be making a trip to Hong Kong to film its next series. Photo: Bravo

The network’s go-to gossip blog Bravo and Cocktails reported that Real Housewives: Ultimate Girls Trip’s season four will take place in Hong Kong, with filming set to commence in January 2023 for one week.

An insider told the blog: “I work for the product [team] on Ultimate Girls Trip, and the fourth season has been cast and will film this coming January in Hong Kong,” noting the new season will have a “Dynamic Duos” theme, unlike previous seasons.

The cast of Real Housewives season three in Thailand. Photo: @melissagorga/Instagram
The concept of the show is somewhat of a “greatest hits” special of the Real Housewives franchise, with various famous Housewives from different cities’ series embarking on an international “girls trip” together for a week. The third season, which was filmed this year in Phuket, Thailand, is expected to start airing early next year.

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Who is in it?

Garcelle Beauvais and Sutton Stracke from RHOBH. Photos: AP, @suttonstracke/Instagram
The rumoured cast for the yet-to-be-filmed fourth season are duos Garcelle Beauvais and Sutton Stracke of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Dolores Catania and Margaret Josephs of The Real Housewives of New Jersey, Gina Kirschenheiter and Emily Simpson of The Real Housewives of Orange County, and Ashley Darby and Robyn Dixon of The Real Housewives of Potomac.
Robyn Dixon and Ashley Darby from RHOP. Photos: Bravo TV

While the cast and location have not been confirmed by the network, it’s worth noting that details are not revealed until months after filming, and the cast members are expected to keep their involvement mum until closer to the airing date. However, it’s also worth noting that none of the Housewives involved have denied their involvement either.

Gina Kirschenheiter stars on The Real Housewives of Orange County. Photo: @ginakirschenheiter/Instagram

On the contrary, this week, fellow cast member Tamra Judge from The Real Housewives of Orange County commented on the news on Instagram: “Looks like a great cast.” Housewife Gina Kirschenheiter, who is also rumoured to be taking part, then seemingly confirmed her involvement by replying with heart emojis.

Why are they filming in Hong Kong?

Two International Finance Centre (IFC), HSBC headquarters and Bank of China in Hong Kong, in July 2021. Photo: Reuters

If the show does go ahead as expected, Hong Kong is certainly a bold location choice to film a destination-based reality show at this point in time. While quarantine is no longer required for inbound travellers, the city is still heavily restricted, with the 0+3 initiative and both indoor and outdoor mask mandates still firmly in place.

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Just this week, Hong Kong’s chief executive John Lee dismissed calls to scrap Covid-19 health code arrangements or ease mask-wearing rules.

Under the “0+3” model, overseas arrivals must undergo three days of medical surveillance, during which they are allowed limited movement in the city and must be tested for Covid-19 regularly. Exemptions were made recently for high-powered bankers attending a summit, so it’s likely celebrities like the Real Housewives could enjoy the same perks if the city’s restrictions are still unchanged by January.

The Housewives have real history with Hong Kong

The Real Housewives in Hong Kong. Photo: Bravo TV

If all goes well, it also won’t be the first time the Real Housewives filmed in Hong Kong. During The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’ season seven in 2017, the cast filmed throughout the city’s famous sights.

The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’ cast members flew to Hong Kong during its season seven filming. Photo: Bravo TV
Stars including Lisa Rinna, Erika Jayne, Kyle Richards and Vanderpump Rules’ Lisa Vanderpump shot three episodes at locations like Big Buddha and even had one of their meme-worthy catfights on a historic junk boat in the harbour. Vanderpump famously instigated the trip by flying to Hong Kong to join efforts by charities that aim to stop animal cruelty and the slaughtering of dogs in China.

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The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills in Hong Kong. Photo: Bravo TV

Will the Real Housewives be back to bring some much-needed showbiz glamour, gossip and drama to the recently “revived” city? It certainly looks like it.

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Reality TV
  • Despite Hong Kong’s currently stringent Covid-19 measures, an insider has claimed that the Real Housewives will come to film Ultimate Girls Trip S4 in January 2023
  • The franchise has filmed in the city before, with RHOBH’s Lisa Rinna, Erika Jayne, Kyle Richards and Lisa Vanderpump visiting the Big Buddha and other tourist hotspots in 2017