The second season of Mike White’s acclaimed HBO anthology series The White Lotus has officially come to an explosive conclusion. And while most of the latest rumors involve the “Derpy” demise of a beloved character and the questionable fashion sense of another not-so-loved character, there’s also plenty of talk about the show’s lavish locales.
Season 1 took us to the sunny, open-air beaches of Maui, while Season 2 took us to another scenic beach destination in Sicily. With such beautiful settings, it’s easy to overlook the series’ chaotic drama – the frivolous, often murderous, rich-people escapades – in the face of such up-and-coming vacation spots.
Whether your heart desires the Pacific or the Mediterranean, here’s a closer look at the real White Lotus resorts, whether they’re open to the public or not, and their most extravagant offerings.
Season 1: Maui
The first season introduced us to the insane staff at the White Lotus Resort in Hawaii, the dysfunctional Mossbacker family, the newly married but irreconcilable Pattons, and a lonely traveler named Tanya McQuoid (Jennifer Coolidge) who is searching for inner peace after the death of her mother. The focus here was on money and power — causing rifts between guests and resort staff — along with a missing, illegal green backpack. In the end, someone ends up dead, which adds to the larger commentary on who has the power.
Murray Bartlett, Jolene Purdy, Natasha Rothwell, Lukas Gage on “The White Lotus” (HBO)
All the hype is happening at the real Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea, a 5-star hotel currently available for booking. It’s near one of Maui’s largest beaches, Wailea Beach, and boasts 380 guest rooms and suites; three swimming pools; a spa that offers poolside and seaside wellness services; three golf courses and an art museum.
Sydney Sweeney, Brittany O’Grady and Alexandra Daddario in “The White Lotus” (Mario Perez/HBO)
Current room rates range from $1,160 per night, which is pretty pricey but downright reasonable compared to the most expensive suite. If you opt for the “Lokelani” Presidential Three-Bedroom Suite, which is similar to Shane (Jake Lacy) and Rachel Patton’s (Alexandra Daddario) coveted Pineapple Suite, it’ll set you back $27,000 a night. What are you getting? A whopping 7,200 sq.ft. space, including a 1,900-sq.ft. private garden and options of two king and two queen beds. There are also 180 degree views of the nearby coastline and islands on the horizon.
If you’re a little more modest but still like some lavishness like the Mossbacker family, the hotel’s slightly smaller “Maile” Presidential Suite is 4,000 square feet. of interior space and has 180 degree ocean views of the Pacific, neighboring islands and Wailea Beach. Or, if you’re traveling solo like Tanya, that would be the Oceanfront Prime Suites, which still offer plenty of space at 1,400 square feet. with – what else? – a 180 degree sea view of the beach and neighboring islands.
Steve Zahn and Connie Britton from “The White Lotus” (Courtesy of HBO)
Season 2: Sicily
One feature we hopefully wouldn’t get on a trip to Italy is the floating corpse that Daphne Sullivan (Meghann Fahy) encounters while swimming in the Ionian Sea. Still, it’s easy to see why she and her husband Cameron (Theo James) — along with fellow couples Harper (Aubrey Plaza) and her husband Ethan (Will Sharpe), and Tanya and her husband Greg (John Gries) — would find the place tempting.
If you want to recreate their romantic/dysfunctional getaway, you may need to plan ahead. The Four Seasons’ San Domenico Palace in Taormina, a 14th-century former convent converted into a luxury resort where most of the scenes were filmed, is currently closed but is set to reopen on March 14, 2023. As resort manager Valentina will let you know, there are 111 rooms, suites, and specialty suites (where you can have an illegal connection with a piano player) that cost way up $800 and up. If you’d rather not risk bumping into dead bodies in the sea, you can take a dip in the infinity pool on the cliff overlooking Taormina Bay. As seen in the show, San Domenico Palace is also close to Mount Etna, which may or may not erupt when visited for dramatic effect.
Simona Tabasco and Beatrice Granno in The White Lotus (Photo courtesy of HBO)
Luckily, many of the historic towns and nearby attractions that have appeared in the show are also open to visitors. First is Noto, the idyllic town in southeastern Sicily where Daphne and Harper spent their girls’ day trip. Admire the city’s Baroque architecture, limestone piazzas and beautiful cathedrals for free. Noto and its Piazza del Municipio featured prominently in Michelangelo Antonioni’s 1960 classic film L’Avventura.
But if you’re wallowing in it like Daphne, why not copy her getaway and rent the privately owned Villa Tasca (you know whatever it takes to make you feel comfortable). The Palermo villa can only be rented for special events and weddings, but Dream Exotic Rentals offers it as a vacation rental from around $5,684 per night. A steel. The entire villa includes four bedrooms, five bathrooms and a large pool, so rest assured
kidnap Bring lots of company if you plan to visit.
Meghann Fahy and Aubrey Plaza from The White Lotus (Courtesy of HBO)
Let’s say you want to follow in the footsteps of the Di Grasso men who traveled to the Castello degli Schiavi, the famous scene of Apollonia’s (Simonetta Stefanelli) death in The Godfather. The grand 18th-century estate is less than a mile west of the Ionian Sea and about 10 miles south of San Domenico Palace, a short distance from your driver.
Among the many other attractions open to the public are Taormina, the beach town on Sicily’s east coast, and Palermo’s Teatro Massimo, where Tanya sadly watches “Madama Butterfly” with her seedy best friend Quentin (Tom Hollander). It’s entirely up to you how much of her adventure with the “high-end gays” you want to reproduce.
Beatrice Granno, Adam DiMarco and Simona Tabasco from “The White Lotus” (Courtesy of HBO)
Season 3: destination unknown
It’s no surprise that staying in The White Lotus’ hotspots comes with a hefty price tag, given its affluent clientele like Tanya, who’s transitioned from Petal to Blossom status over the years. However, if you have the means to live like them, you can emulate their experiences (without death, of course). However, if that lifestyle isn’t possible, you can just drive past each location and take a quick peek inside.
The White Lotus Resorts world tour is likely to continue with the show potentially heading to South Asia in Season 3, per Daphne, who jubilated, “Next year the Maldives!” at the end of their season. White also told Vanity Fair in a December interview, “We’re going to explore Asia and look at the 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,” he added. “Maybe after sex it would be nice to have something more celestial or something more alien I think. But I do not know.”
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