HBO Max’s Emmy-winning anthropology series The White Lotus has not just made viewers laugh but it has also given them some serious travel inspo. So, we are breaking down The White Lotus filming locations for both seasons that you can add to your travel itinerary.
There has been quite a buzz about super-affluent people’s lifestyles captured via various shows and movies. Whether it’s reality TV like Bling Empire and Dubai Bling or movies like Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery or Crazy Rich Asians, the gorgeous lifestyle, glam, glitz, drama and mystery never fail to impress the viewers. And another glorified addition to this list is The White Lotus.
About The White Lotus seasons 1 and 2
Director, writer and producer Mike White of School of Rock and Enlightened took a scathing approach to expose the typical class privilege, gender dynamics and social satires, all wrapped under the glossy packaging of a holiday show.
In the first season, the cast included Oscar Wilde, King Edward VIII, Elizabeth Taylor, Truman Capote, Audrey Hepburn and Sophia Loren. Jennifer Coolidge and Jon Gries were the only two returning cast members who we get to see in season 2.
In the second instalment of the show, Aubrey Plaza plays Harper Spiller, a married woman who is on a vacation with her friends and husband Ethan Spiller (Will Sharpe). Adam DiMarco, Beatrice Grannò, Tom Hollander, Sabrina Impacciatore, Simona Tabasco, Michael Imperioli, Haley Lu Richardson, Theo James, Meghann Fahy and Leo Woodall are the other cast members.
Season 1 of the mini-series, consisting of six episodes, takes place in a beautiful Hawaiian resort of the titular name where privileged super-rich guests come to spend their vacation. However, over the course of the week, some dark and complex truths unfold about the seamless travellers and resort employees and change their course of lives forever.
Here are The White Lotus filming locations you can visit
The Golden Globe-winning series’ second season is set in the picturesque destination of Sicily. The story links between the seasons are very faint, which helps keep the show’s anthropology character intact.
Apparently, there was quite the hunt to find the perfect resort to use in the show and coincidentally, the actual properties used in The White Lotus series both belong to the Four Seasons Hotel and Resorts chain. The showrunner, Mike White, shared that the hotel group was happy with the business they got after the first season, which led to the second.
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White went back to his roots in Hawaii as he spent his fair share of childhood holidays in this US state. He even owns a house in Hanalei on Kauai. Not only did the healing ambience and beautiful surroundings have a deep impact on his mind but the “complicated history with people like me,” as he expresses in an interview with The New Yorker, led him to create The White Lotus in 2020.
For season 1, the entire cast and crew were quarantined in the Four Seasons Resort Maui for the entire duration of the shooting. The beachfront resort lives up to the expectations of living in one of the world’s best tropical destinations. The 16-hectare resort houses 380 guest rooms and luxury suites, three restaurants and three pools, a luxury spa and an art museum.
Production designer Laura Fox reimagined the beautiful rooms which became The White Lotus filming locations in the first season. Shane (Jake Lacy) and Rachel (Alexandra Daddario)’s Palm Suite is actually one of the Elite Oceanfront Suites at the venue, which was revamped with vintage greens, velvet and hanging lights.
Meanwhile, scenes of the Pineapple Suite are shot inside the “LOKELANI” Presidential Suite. The three-bedroom accommodation is the largest, with an approximately 418-square-metre indoor sprawling area. The yellow, green and brown hues with pineapple motifs make it almost unrecognisable in the series.
Tanya (Jennifer Coolidge) opts for the Hibiscus Suite, which is the Oceanfront Prime Suite, and the Tradewinds Suite is chosen by the Mossbacher family. The latter was created inside the “MAILE” Three-Bedroom Presidential Suite of the resort.
As for the scenes at the beach, they were filmed on Wailea, which is just a stone’s throw from the property. While most of the pool scenes were filmed at the Serenity pool, the Fountain pool was seen in the scuba-diving lesson scene showing Quinn and his father.
(Image: Courtesy @fsmaui/Instagram)
For season 2, the crew chose idyllic Sicily as the filming location to capture the magnificent vistas of Italy. The beautiful San Domenico Palace, Taormina, is shown in this instalment of the series.
The hotel is a famous spot among tourists for its 14th-century convent-style architecture and Michelin-starred dining. Overlooking the Ionian Sea, the stay offers views of the dramatic landscapes of Sicily’s east coast, the active Mount Etna volcano and the Greek Theatre. San Domenico Palace is close to the old town, and accessing the historical cities like Modica, Noto, Siracusa and the island of Ortigia is easy.
The Four Seasons group acquired the hotel in 2020, and its multi-million dollar refurbishment hasn’t lessened its glory. The charm and beauty of the palace are seen across its 111 guest rooms, suites and speciality suites. Other than the exceptional sea view, some of the suites come with private plunge pools and terraces. The breathtaking Italian gardens and the cliff-top infinity pool are also featured in many scenes of the series.
(Image: Courtesy Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts)
An outing of the Di Grasso family was filmed at the Castello degli Schiavi. Featuring rural Sicilian Baroque-style architecture, the villa and courtyard of the castle exude a 1700’s charm — the period when it was built. It is renowned as one of the prime filming locations of the film The Godfather.
(Image: Courtesy of Andrei Antipin/CC BY-SA 4.0/Wikimedia Commons)
As the COVID-19 restrictions were eased in 2022, the cast and crew enjoyed the surrounding areas of the palace in the second season. White told Entertainment Weekly, “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.”
Many scenes of the show were shot at Lumina Studios near Rome. We also saw Harper (Plaza) and Daphne (Fahy) take a girls’ day trip to Noto where they explored 18th-century baroque architecture. Popular tourist attractions featured on the show in Noto include the limestone piazza, Palazzo Ducezio and the cathedral in Corso Vittorio Emanuele.
(Image: Courtesy of Antonio Sessa/Unsplash)
The characters also wander around another coastal town with medieval charms, Cefalù. The heavenly atmosphere and picturesque sight of Cefalù beach attracted the showrunners so much that they chose the location instead of Spiaggia di Isola Bella for the opening scene where we can see Daphane (Meghann Fahy) raving about her trip to fellow tourists. The tiny town is quite popular among tourists for Norman cathedral and some of the most beautiful beaches in Sicily.
Less than an hour away from Cefalù, the capital city of Sicily, Palermo, resides in its full glory.
Other than the famous Piazza Marina, the historic centre of Palermo, many other sights of the city were shot in the city. The shopping scenes of Daphne and Cameron (Theo James) were also filmed here. Viewers can also see Portia and her British fling, Jack wander, wander in the old town road of Palermo and get into various shenanigans.
Visitors must check out Piazza Pretoria and the stunning Palatine Chapel. The ancient markets, opera houses and delicious foods are also immensely popular tourist attractions in Palermo.
Where will The White Lotus season 3 take us?
White teased fans by recently confirming the third season of The White Lotus.
When it comes to the filming location, White, in a Deadline interview, said, “It’d be fun to maybe go to a whole different continent. You know, we did Europe, and maybe Asia, something crazy like that, that would be fun.”
To support his statement, we have seen Daphane cheering “Next year, the Maldives!” at the end of the season.
White also told Vanity Fair that “We are going to scout in Asia and look at countries there. My instinct is that maybe it has something to do with spirituality. Eastern versus Western religion, or Western people in an Eastern culture. Maybe after sex it would be nice to have something that’s a little more celestial or something that’s a little more out of the carnal, I guess. But I don’t know. I have to beg off, to be honest, because I don’t really know.”
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Answer: While season 1 was filmed in Four Seasons Maui, the second season was primarily shot in San Domenico Palace, Taormina, A Four Seasons Hotel and some other places in Italy.
Answer: Season 1 of the show was filmed in Four Seasons Maui at Wailea. The sprawling six-hectare area with gorgeous suites, swimming pools and bars were used to shoot the mini-series.
Answer: Season 2 of 'The White Lotus' was filmed at San Domenico Palace, Taormina. Some scenes were also shot in Noto, Cefalù and the neighbourhoods of the palace.
Answer: Season 2 of the anthology series captures the beauty of Sicilian towns Taormina, Palermo and Noto.