Where is ‘The White Lotus’ filmed?

The second season of the hit show saw the cast moving from Hawaii to the north-east coast of Sicily, but where will season three be filmed? 

BY JAMES MEDD, 25 January 2024

Having become one of the breakout hits of the 2021 lockdown, and then winning 10 Emmy Awards, The White Lotus turned from a self-contained mini-series into a franchise. Depicting a highly eventful week in the luxurious Hawaiian resort of the title, where glossily monied guests meet harried hotel staff, season one employed farce, black comedy and just enough closely observed sympathy to skewer the more problematic aspects of luxury travel. Filmed in a single location under strict covid protocols, it had a rare edge that was partly fuelled by the situation of its making but the prospect of a new season, with us now, is still to be relished.

The series continued with the slenderest of links: of the key cast, just Jennifer Coolidge and Jon Gries returned, as the emotionally incontinent Tanya and her lover (now husband) Greg. Joining them was a cast even more impressive than first time round, including Michael Imperioli from The Sopranos, F Murray Abraham (HomelandAmadeus), Aubrey Plaza of Parks and Recreation fame, Will Sharpe of Giri/Haji, Theo James (DivergentThe Time Traveler’s Wife) and the brilliant Tom Hollander (The Night ManagerPirates of the Caribbean).

dbimages / Alamy Stock Photo

At the helm is show-runner Mike White, previously best-known for creating School of Rock and TV’s Enlightened, who claims surprise that the series was recommissioned: “I always thought of it as an experimental show,” he told Entertainment Weekly, “so there was never any idea that we would even do another season.”

Still more surprising is that the location used for season two is at a Four Seasons, just like its holiday-from-hell predecessor. After season one, White admitted that the hotel group “were happy for the business. But the fact that this is now the visual for the hotel from hell probably escaped them to some degree.” Proving that there’s no such thing as bad publicity, the production installed themselves in another magnificent location for season two, in Sicily.

Where was season one of The White Lotus filmed?

Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea

As well as Jennifer Coolidge, season one’s pitch-perfect cast included Connie Britton of Nashville fame and the immaculate Murray Bartlett as highly complicated hotel manager Armond, but really it was all about creator/writer/director Mike White – and the location, that is: the very real Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea.

The two came together when White was asked by HBO to dream up a show that could be made under covid guidelines. With a single location a necessity, his thoughts turned to childhood holidays, which for him were in Hawaii. He liked the place so much, he bought a house at Hanalei on Kauai, and the recent arrival of billionaire ‘tech bros’ as his neighbours fed into the story. “At first, it’s, like, ‘It’s so beautiful! I’m in touch with nature and it’s so healing,’” he told The New Yorker. “Then you realise it’s on the backs of people who’ve had a complicated history with people like me.” The result was The White Lotus, written at speed in August 2020 and filmed at leisure, from October to December, with cast and crew quarantined in the resort for the duration.

Four Seasons Resort, Maui, HawaiiRachel Olsson

Opened in 1990, the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea lives up to the tropical-paradise clichés with ease, with some of the suites we see in the show costing up to $26,000 a night. Alongside the 380 guest rooms and suites, its 15 acres house three pools, three restaurants (including Wolfgang Puck’s Spago), three golf courses, a spa and an art museum. Amazingly, White and his crew were given almost free rein, from the entrance and lobby to the restaurants, the spa and even the neighbouring Wailea Beach.

Key to the drama are the suites, all carefully decorated to reflect their occupants, while keeping to strict ground rules laid down by the resort. While they weren’t allowed to paint the rooms, they could change the materials, bedding and curtains – an important factor, as production designer Laura Fox explained to Architectural Digest: “They’re lovely rooms, but not to film in. I think [my job] was trying to find a version of a new hotel that was kitschy and flawed and rich, like the characters.”

Wailea Beach, Maui, HawaiiGetty Images

The Palm Suite, home-from-home to honeymooners Shane (Jake Lacy) and Rachel (Alexandra Daddario), is one of the resort’s Elite Oceanfront Suites – given what Fox called an ‘anti-beach’ makeover with vintage greens, velvet and hanging lights. The White Lotus’s other honeymoon suite, the Pineapple, is the Lokelani Presidential Suite – at 4,500 square feet, the hotel’s (and Hawaii’s) largest, with three bedrooms, five bathrooms and two living rooms. This was given a palette of yellow, green and brown with, of course, pineapple motifs.

For volatile Tanya (Jennifer Coolidge), who arrives with her mother’s ashes in a plastic bag, the Hibiscus Suite was created in one of the Oceanfront Prime Suites, with pinks and reds expressly designed to clash with her sartorial fondness for bright prints. Then, for the Mossbacher family, led by tech exec Nicole (Britton), the Tradewinds Suite was created from the Maile Presidential Suite, with a range of blues and very Seventies Hawaiian art. This was the biggest departure from the real hotel: in the show’s Tradewinds, the Mossbacher kids sleep in the living room, but the Maile is in fact the Four Seasons Maui’s second-largest suite, with three bedrooms, four bathrooms and full sauna included.

Four Seasons Resort, Maui, Hawaii Quentin Bacon

Wailea Beach

Outside the rooms and restaurants, it’s water that matters. Beach scenes focusing on Quinn Mossbacher (Fred Hechinger) were filmed on Wailea Beach – steps away from the hotel, just as we see on screen. For the swimming pools, meanwhile, the action focused on two of the three, leaving the child-friendly Waterfall Pool in the background. We spend plenty of time at the Serenity Pool, where Shane and Rachel take a cabana, the Mossbacher girls read waterside and Quinn is seen wading to the swim-up bar carrying his phone and console at arm’s length, like holy relics. For Quinn and his father’s scuba lessons, it’s the Fountain Pool, which sits at the centre of the property.

Where was season two of The White Lotus filmed?

San Domenico Palace, Taormina, A Four Seasons Hotel

Most of the action takes place at the San Domenico Palace hotel in Taormina, on the north-east coast of Sicily. Situated high on the rocks a little inland, it overlooks the Ionian Sea, Mount Etna and an ancient amphitheatre, built in the Greek style by the Romans. As well as the still-active Etna, the town is famous for its proximity to the Isola Bella nature reserve and for its medieval architecture, which put it on the map for the aristocratic Grand Tour of the 19th century.

Cefalu, Sicily Getty Images

The San Domenico is almost as famous itself, built on the site of a 15th-century monastery and incorporating several historic features. In its original incarnation, opened with the addition of a Grand Hotel Wing in 1896, it hosted famous faces – from Oscar Wilde to Audrey Hepburn and Edward VII – and its fame has not been lessened by its 2021 refurbishment as a member of the Four Seasons Group. With 111 rooms including suites and speciality suites, it features a spa, fine-dining restaurant Principe Cerami and pool-terrace diner Anciovi, courtyards and gardens that date back to the time of the monks, and an outdoor infinity pool that wins plenty of screen time in The White Lotus.

This is certainly not its first time on film, either. Michelangelo Antonioni’s 1960 classic L’Avventura ended in the hotel, and it was also where the divers of 1988’s The Big Blue stay while preparing for a big competition.

Noto, Sicily Getty Images


Unlike season one, filmed under strict Covid lockdown conditions, this season allowed the characters to leave the confines of the hotel. As Mike White told Entertainment Weekly, this was a bonus: “I’m not going to complain about being at the Four Seasons Maui, but you do start to feel like it was a Hawaiian Shining. It was cool this season to be able to feature more of the city and some of the iconic places in Sicily. The canvas gets much bigger and that’s a huge improvement.”

As well as the town of Taormina, and a yacht trip on the Ionian, this included a visit to Noto, in the south-east of the island. Famed for its baroque architecture, dating to the early 18th century following a devastating earthquake, this town featured in the recent big-screen adaptation of Cyrano. For The White Lotus, it became the venue for a day trip where Harper (Aubrey Plaza) and Daphne (Meghann Fahy) converse in the limestone piazza and take in the Palazzo Ducezio and the cathedral on Corso Vittorio Emanuele.

Cefalu, Sicily Getty Images


This coastal town close to Palermo on the island’s north coast provided another outing for the assembled characters. The architecture here dates back to medieval times, with a Norman cathedral and streets blending into a popular beach resort. The harbour featured in the film Cinema Paradiso as the venue for an outdoor screening of Kirk Douglas’s Ulysses. It’s close to the Piazza Marina that features in The White Lotus, though most of the filming for the series took place on the seafront by the Sea Palace Hotel on Lungomare Giuseppe Giardina.

Where will season three of The White Lotus be filmed?

HBO confirmed in mid-November 2022 that the big-hitting anthology series would be returning for a third instalment. While details of season three are still being kept hush-hush, a breadcrumb trail has been sprinkled gradually for viewers throughout January of 2024 – including the location.

After season two, eager viewers pointed out that there was a moment in episode seven of season two that pointed to the Maldives as the next potential series location: Cameron (Theo James) makes a toast to friendship, and Daphne (Meghann Fahy) adds, “Next year, the Maldives!”), however this theory has been proved wrong.

White Lotus season 2HBO/Fabio Lovino

The third season of The White Lotus will be filmed at the Four Seasons Koh Samui – as we predicted. Located on a peaceful private peninsula on the island’s northeast coast, it’s just as glamorous as the show’s previous properties. Think breathtaking thatched-roof villas dotted across the landscape, with sprawling views out onto the Gulf of Thailand, sparkling infinity pools and a world-class spa (where we hope to see more of Natasha Rothwell as she reprises her role from the first season). Alongside Rothwell, other recently announced cast members include Leslie Bibb, Harry Potter‘s Jason Isaacs, Michelle Monaghan, Parker Posey, Patrick Schwarzenegger and Sex Education‘s Aimee Lou Wood. This series will also feature a second hotel as its filming location: the Anantara Mai Khao Villas in Phuket. These stunning pool villas offer guests a sleek, tranquil escape just beyond Phuket’s longest beach.

Courtesy of Four Seasons

When it comes to the overarching theme, the first season centred around money, while the second season focused on sex. The third, however, will take a dramatic turn and will focus on “a satirical and funny look at death and Eastern religion and spirituality” says White.

Courtesy of Four Seasons

As for release dates, no schedule has been confirmed yet, although season one premiered halfway through 2021 and season two in autumn 2022, so we’re likely looking at a late 2023 release.

Courtesy of Four Seasons

This fabulous article is from Condé Nast Traveller

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