"The White Lotus": Here are the real hotels featured on the show, but can you afford them?

If you found Tanya & Co.'s travels aspirational, here's what you need to know

By Joy Saha

Staff Writer

Published December 17, 2022 2:59PM (EST)

Francesco Zecca, Paolo Camilli, Bruno Gouery, Haley Lu Richardson, Leo Woodall, Tom Hollander and Jennifer Coolidge from "The White Lotus" (Courtesy of HBO)
Francesco Zecca, Paolo Camilli, Bruno Gouery, Haley Lu Richardson, Leo Woodall, Tom Hollander and Jennifer Coolidge from "The White Lotus" (Courtesy of HBO)

The second season of Mike White's acclaimed HBO anthology series "The White Lotus" has officially come to an explosive end. And while most of the latest buzz concerns a beloved character's "derpy" demise and another not-so-beloved character's questionable sense of fashion, there's also plenty of talk about the show's luxurious locations.

Season 1 took us to the sunny, open-air beachfronts of Maui while the second season transported us to yet another picturesque beach destination in Sicily. With backdrops so gorgeous, it's easy to overlook the messy drama of the series — the frivolous, oftentimes, murderous antics of rich people — in the face of such aspirational vacation locales.

Whether your heart desires the Pacific or Mediterranean, here's a closer look at the real-life 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 kooky staff at the White Lotus resort in Hawaii, the dysfunctional Mossbacker family, the newlywed yet incompatible Pattons and a lone traveler named Tanya McQuoid (Jennifer Coolidge) who's seeking inner peace following her mother's death. The focus here was money and power — which spurs rifts amongst the guests and the resort staff — along with a missing, illicit green backpack. In the end, someone does end up dead, adding to the bigger commentary about who has power.

The White LotusMurray Bartlett, Jolene Purdy, Natasha Rothwell, Lukas Gage on "The White Lotus" (HBO)

All the hoopla takes place in the real-life Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea, a 5-star hotel that is currently available to book. It's located near one of Maui's largest beaches, Wailea beach, and touts 380 guest rooms and suites; three pools; a spa, which offers wellness services by the pool and ocean; three golf courses and an art museum.

The White LotusSydney 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 plenty expensive, but downright reasonable compared to the most expensive suite. If you opt for the "Lokelani" Presidential Three-Bedroom Suite, which is akin to Shane (Jake Lacy) and Rachel Patton's (Alexandra Daddario) sought-after Pineapple Suite, that will set you back $27,000 per night. What do you get? A whopping 7,200 sq.ft. of space, that includes a 1,900-sq.ft. private garden and options of two king and two queen sized beds. There's also a 180-degree view of the nearby oceanfront and the islands on the horizon.

If you're a bit more modest and yet still like some lavishness like the Mossbacker family, the hotel's slightly smaller "Maile" Presidential Suite is 4,000 sq.ft. of indoor space and has a 180-degree oceanfront view of the Pacific, neighboring islands and Wailea Beach. Or, if you're going solo like Tanya, that would be the Oceanfront Prime Suites, that's still plenty roomy at 1,400 sq.ft.  with – what else? – an 180-degree oceanfront view of the beach and neighboring islands. 

The White LotusSteve Zahn and Connie Britton from "The White Lotus" (Courtesy of HBO)

Season 2: Sicily

One feature we'd hope not to get on a jaunt to Italy is the floating corpse that Daphne Sullivan (Meghann Fahy) bumps into while swimming in the Ionian Sea. Nevertheless, it's easy to see why she and husband Cameron (Theo James) – along with other married couples Harper (Aubrey Plaza) and her husband Ethan (Will Sharpe), and Tanya and her hubby Greg (John Gries) – would find the location enticing.

If you're looking to recreate their romantic/dysfunctional getaway, you may need to plan ahead. The Four Season's San Domenico Palace in Taormina, a former 14th-century convent-turned-luxury resort where most of the action was shot is currently closed but is slated to reopen on March 14, 2023. As resort manager Valentina will have you know, there are 111 rooms, suites and specialty suites (where you can have an illicit hookup with a piano player) that costs $800 and up, far up. If you'd rather not risk running into corpses in the sea, you could take a dip in the cliff top infinity pool that overlooks Taormina Bay. As seen on the show, San Domenico Palace is also near Mount Etna, which may or may not be erupting for dramatic effect should you visit.

The White LotusSimona Tabasco and Beatrice Granno in "The White Lotus" (Photograph by Courtesy of HBO)

Fortunately, many of the historical towns and nearby landmarks that appeared on the show are open to visitors as well. First is Noto, the idyllic city in southeastern Sicily where Daphne and Harper spent their girls' daytrip. For free, you can take in the city's baroque architecture, limestone piazzas and beautiful cathedrals. Noto and its Piazza del Municipio notably appeared in Michelangelo Antonioni's classic 1960 film "L'Avventura." 

But if you happen to be rolling in it like Daphne, why not copy her getaway and rent the privately owned Villa Tasca (you know, whatever you need to do to make you feel good). Located in Palermo, the villa is only available to rent for special events and weddings, but Dream Exotic Rentals is offering it as a vacation rental starting at about $5,684 per night.  A steal. The entire villa includes four bedrooms, five bathrooms and one large pool, so be sure to kidnap bring plenty of company if you're planning on visiting.

The White LotusMeghann Fahy and Aubrey Plaza from "The White Lotus" (Courtesy of HBO)

Let's say you're into following the trajectory of the Di Grasso men, who traveled to Castello degli Schiavi, which is the famous setting of Apollonia's (Simonetta Stefanelli) death in "The Godfather." The 18th-century grand estate is located less than a mile west of the Ionian Sea and about 10 miles south of San Domenico Palace, not far for your driver at all.

Among the many other landmarks open that are open to the public include Taormina, the beach town on the east coast of Sicily, and Palermo's Teatro Massimo, where Tanya dolefully watches "Madama Butterfly" with her shady bestie Quentin (Tom Hollander). It's up to you just exactly how much of her adventure with the "high-end gays" you want to reproduce.

The White LotusBeatrice 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" hot spots comes with a hefty price tag, given its wealthy clientele like Tanya, who moved from Petal to Blossom status over the years. If you have the means to live like them, however, feel free to replicate their experiences (sans death, of course). However, if that lifestyle isn't feasible, you can simply drive by each location and take a quick peek in.

The world tour of the White Lotus resorts will likely continue with the show possibly heading to South Asia in Season 3, per Daphne, who cheered, "Next year, the Maldives!" at the end of her season. White also told Vanity Fair in a December interview, "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," he added. "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."

By Joy Saha

Joy Saha is a staff writer at Salon. She writes about food news and trends and their intersection with culture. She holds a BA in journalism from the University of Maryland, College Park.


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