Where Was 'The White Lotus' Filmed?

See the stand-ins for the HBO series' luxury hotels.

cast of the white lotus waving
(Image credit: Fabio Lovino/HBO)

HBO's The White Lotus will give you complicated feelings about your next vacation. While the Emmy-winning social satire raises ethical questions regarding wealth and class, the series is filmed in some stunning locations, with shots that could easily be added to a vacation mood board. After the first Hawaii-set season became a sleeper hit (and won several Emmys), the show evolved into an anthology. Last weekend, The White Lotus returned for Season 2 with a brand new cast and a new Italian setting.

'The White Lotus' Filming Locations

The first two seasons of The White Lotus were filmed in real-life luxury hotels from the same world-famous company. Both of the properties that stand in for the White Lotus chain are Four Seasons properties, with the second season choosing a destination in Italy after production took over a 15-acre estate in fall 2020. The installments also include restaurants and amenities from the hotels.

Some shots of the scenery from the first two seasons:

where is the white lotus filmed hbo

(Image credit: Mario Perez/HBO)

where is the white lotus filmed hbo

(Image credit: Mario Perez/HBO)

where is the white lotus filmed hbo

(Image credit: Fabio Lovino/HBO)

where is the white lotus filmed hbo

(Image credit: Fabio Lovino/HBO)

Season 1: Hawaii

The first season of The White Lotus was filmed at the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea (opens in new tab)in the fall of 2020, with the production (opens in new tab) forming a bubble under strict COVID-19 guidelines for several months. The luxury resort, where rooms start around $1,000 a night, includes many of the amenities shown in the series, including the spa, three pools, 81 cabanas, water sports, and snorkeling. 

While the series includes colorfully decorated rooms like the Pineapple Suite and the Tradewinds Suite, the real-life rooms are more muted. (Production designer Laura Fox told Deadline (opens in new tab) that she re-designed the rooms under White's note to imagine "the Madonna Inn (opens in new tab) and the Four Seasons having a baby.")

A post shared by Four Seasons Resort Maui (@fsmaui) (opens in new tab)

A photo posted by on

While the hotel is available to book for anyone who finished the social satire still wanting to visit, there is a thorny history of overtourism in Hawaii. Native Hawaiians have pointed out that the hotels receive preferential treatment compared to locals (see the July 2021 Maui water shortage (opens in new tab) where residents were fined for overuse but authorities turned a blind eye to the hotels). Season 1 also only lightly touches on the history of colonialism (opens in new tab) and how the tourism industry affects native Hawaiians (opens in new tab). Definitely read up (opens in new tab) on the issue (opens in new tab) before you decide whether to visit.

Season 2: Sicily

The real-life hotel that stands in for the White Lotus Sicily is none other than the San Domenico Palace, Taormina (opens in new tab). According to Architectural Digest (opens in new tab), the hotel is a "clifftop retreat" that overlooks the Ionian Sea, and includes views of an ancient Greek theater called Teatro Antico di Taormina, as well as the active Mount Etna volcano. The former 14th-century Dominican convent was first converted into a hotel in 1896, and has a history of hosting Hollywood stars (opens in new tab), including Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, and Sophia Loren. The Four Seasons has owned the hotel in 2020, and it's gone through a multimillion-dollar renovation.

"We saw a lot of properties in France and Italy," White told the outlet. "Many of them were small and wouldn’t photograph very well. But when we went to the San Domenico…there was just something about it. [The hotel] had a real vibe."

A post shared by San Domenico Palace, Taormina (@fstaormina) (opens in new tab)

A photo posted by on

For anyone already planning their next vacation, the 111-room hotel and spa includes rooms starting at around $900 a night, as well as suites with private terraces and plunge pools. There are also three bars and three restaurants—one of which, Principe Cerami, serves local Sicilian specialties. Guests can also venture into the town of Taormina and its main street, Corso Umberto. 

In addition to the hotel, Season 2 was also filmed at Lumina Studios (opens in new tab) near Rome and on location (opens in new tab) around Sicily, including the island's capital city Palmero and Noto, a southeastern town famous for its Baroque architecture.

Quinci LeGardye
Contributing Culture Editor

Quinci LeGardye is a Contributing Culture Editor who covers TV, movies, Korean entertainment, books, and pop culture. When she isn’t writing or checking Twitter, she’s probably watching the latest K-drama or giving a concert performance in her car.