The White Lotus on HBO will make you feel conflicted about your next trip. The Emmy-winning social satire raises moral questions about wealth and class, but the series is filmed in some beautiful places, and some of the shots could be used to make a mood board for a trip.
The show became an anthology after the first season set in Hawaii became a surprise hit and won several Emmys. The White Lotus came back for its second season last weekend, with a whole new cast and a new setting in Italy.
‘The White Lotus’ Filming Locations
The first two seasons of The White Lotus were shot in authentic five-star hotels owned by the same world-famous company. Both of the properties that stand in for the White Lotus chain are Four Seasons properties.
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The second season will be set in Italy after the production took over a 15-acre estate in the fall of 2020. Restaurants and other hotel amenities are also included in the payments.
SEASON 1: HAWAII
In the fall of 2020, the first season of The White Lotus was filmed at the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea. The production took place in a bubble for several months, following strict COVID-19 rules.
The spa, three pools, 81 cabanas, water sports, and snorkeling are just some of the things you can do at the luxury resort, where rooms start at around $1,000 a night.
Here are some pictures of the landscape from the first two seasons:
In the show, rooms like the Pineapple Suite and the Tradewinds Suite are decorated in bright colors, but rooms aren’t as optimistic in real life.
(Production designer Laura Fox told Deadline that she redesigned the rooms based on White’s suggestion that they look like “the Madonna Inn and the Four Seasons had a baby.”)
Even though anyone who has read the social satire and still wants to visit can book a room at the hotel, Hawaii has a long history of having too many tourists.
Native Hawaiians have pointed out that hotels are treated better than locals. For example, during the Maui water shortage in July 2021, locals were fined for using too much water, but the hotels were left alone.
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The history of colonialism and how the tourism industry affects native Hawaiians are also only touched on briefly in Season 1.
Before you decide whether or not to go, you should definitely learn more about the situation.
SEASON 2: SICILY
The San Domenico Palace in Taormina is the real-life hotel that stands in for the White Lotus Sicily.
Architectural Digest says that the hotel is a “clifftop retreat” that looks out over the Ionian Sea and has views of the active Mount Etna volcano and an ancient Greek theatre called Teatro Antico di Taormina.
The 14th-century Dominican convent was turned into a hotel for the first time in 1896. In the past, Hollywood stars like Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, and Sophia Loren have stayed there.
In 2020, the hotel was owned by the Four Seasons, and it has been renovated for a lot of money. White told the outlet, “We saw a lot of homes in France and Italy.”
“Many of them were small and wouldn’t have looked good in photos. But there was just something about the San Domenico when we went there. There was an authentic feel to [the hotel].”
The 111-room hotel and spa have rooms that start at about $900 a night and suites with private terraces and plunge pools. There are also three bars and three restaurants. One of the restaurants, Principe Cerami, serves food from Sicily.
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Guests can also go into the town of Taormina and walk down Corso Umberto, which is the main street there. Season 2 was also shot at Lumina Studios(opens in new tab) near Rome and on location(opens in new tab) around Sicily, including in Palmero, the island’s capital, and
Noto, a town in the southeast known for its Baroque architecture.