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BlogTravel tipsWhere was “White Lotus” filmed? Visit these locations from the show in real life on your next trip.
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Travel tips

Where was “White Lotus” filmed? Visit these locations from the show in real life on your next trip.

Feb 21, 2023 by The Go Ahead Tours Team

The TV show The White Lotus has kept us entranced ever since we first checked into the resort at the start of season one. There’s something about the dark humor and exploration of human nature set against the stunning backdrop of extraordinary locations that we just can’t get enough of. Luckily, you can visit many of The White Lotus filming locations and experience the fantasy for yourself.

Season one of The White Lotus was filmed entirely on location at a resort in Maui. The beach provided a tranquil stage where we watched the dramatic interpersonal relationships unfold between characters. You can explore the stunning beaches of Maui on a trip to Hawaii. Season two was filmed across several locations around Sicily, and you can visit them all on one of our trips to Sicily. Season three of The White Lotus is currently filming in Thailand, and you can join us on one of our Thailand tours to beat the impending crowds to the Land of Smiles.

From the charming to the downright idyllic, you can see the settings that made The White Lotus such a thrill to watch on one of our Thailand tours, trips to Sicily, or tours of Hawaii.

When is The White Lotus season 3 release date?

If, like us, you’ve been asking yourself, “When does White Lotus season 3 come back?” ever since the credits rolled on season two, you’re in luck—there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. While an official The White Lotus season three release date has not been announced, season three started filming in Thailand in February and is set to air sometime in 2025.

Where are The White Lotus season 3 filming locations in Thailand?

The cast and crew of The White Lotus season three have done a good job of keeping things under wraps, but we do know that a few locations have been confirmed around Thailand. Here are the places where we know The White Lotus season three is filming, and some of the locations we’re guessing might make an appearance on screen. You can visit them all—and beat the inevitable crowds of White Lotus fans—when you join us on a Thailand tour.

Ko Samui

As with other seasons, The White Lotus is enlisting the help of the Four Seasons hotel group for season three, with the Four Seasons Ko Samui standing in for the beleaguered resort. That means we can probably expect to see palm-fringed beaches, hidden coves, and lush rainforest—all the trappings of paradise fit for a White Lotus hotel.

Ko Samui is Thailand’s second-largest island, and you can visit this tropical paradise when you join our Grand Tour of Southeast Asia: Vietnam, Cambodia & Thailand. “This is a very traditional sun-and-sand destination where travelers can truly relax, go boating and snorkeling, and enjoy mostly free days,” said staffer Tom. It’s no wonder we ranked it among the best islands in Thailand to visit on tour. We expect to see many of the complicated emotions and interpersonal relationships we’ve grown to love in The White Lotus play out against this idyllic backdrop.

When you visit Ko Samui, spend some time relaxing on the beach like a true White Lotus resort guest, or join the Mu Ko Ang Thong Boat Cruise & Snorkeling excursion to explore the surrounding waters. Swim, snorkel, relax on a beach, or visit caves adorned with glistening stalagmite and stalactite formations.

Bangkok

The announcement of Bangkok as a The White Lotus season three filming location didn’t come as much of a shock for fans of the show. Thailand’s bustling and chromatic capital city is the perfect locale to reflect the complex and often conflicting themes represented throughout the series. Also known as the Great City of Angels, Bangkok is at once modern yet traditional, relaxing yet energizing, and indigenous yet global. When you visit Bangkok on one of our Thailand tours, you’ll find tranquil temples nestled between neon-lit shopping avenues and see long-tail boats float past skyscrapers.

The White Lotus film crew hasn’t hired us (yet!), but if we were scouting locations in Bangkok, we would recommend Wat Pho for a scene. Wat Pho, also known as the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, houses a massive 150-foot golden Buddha statue and is one of our favorite temples to explore in Thailand. We can also envision the show filming a scene at Bangkok’s sprawling Grand Palace Complex, which was built in 1782 for the king of Siam. At the very least, we’re hoping to see some establishing shots of the palace’s ornately gilded exterior in season three.

Phuket

Anantara Mai Khao Phuket Villas, a luxurious resort hotel, has also been confirmed as a White Lotus season three location and will most likely be used in tandem with the Four Seasons Ko Samui. That means we’ll definitely see shots filmed in Phuket, Thailand’s largest island, which is a paradise of beautiful beaches and mountainous jungles. The island is also the gateway to many of Thailand’s smaller islands and was once a diverse trading hub, which is evident in the island’s colorful, multi-cultural architecture. Visit Phuket on one of our Thailand tours to stroll past candy-colored restored shophouses along Dibuk Road in the Old Town and spend your free time relaxing in powdery white sand.

If we’ve learned anything from the first two seasons of The White Lotus, it’s that we can expect at least one tense boat ride in the upcoming season. Chances are good that we’ll see some mismatched combination of resortgoers set out on the waters around Phuket. While we might be expecting a boat trip along the lines of Rachel and Shane’s less-than-romantic sunset cruise in season one or Tanya’s fateful boat trip at the end of season two, in reality, a boat ride off the coast of Phuket is one of the most peaceful and scenic moments you can have on a tour of Thailand. Join us on our Highlights of Southern Thailand: Bangkok, Phuket & Krabi tour or Grand Tour of Thailand: Bangkok, Chiang Mai & Phuket to board a speedboat in Phuket and cruise around Ao Phang Nga Bay National Park to see its soaring limestone rock formations, known as karsts. Then, explore the sea caves of Talu Island before sailing past the iconic Khao Phing Kan, also known as James Bond Island. You’ll get an up-close look at the dramatic landscapes that are sure to make an appearance in The White Lotus season three.

Things to do in Thailand before The White Lotus season 3 premieres

Southern Thailand is already one of our emerging travel destinations you must visit in 2024, and we expect the country to only become more popular among travelers after season three of The White Lotus airs. Beat the crowds and join us on a tour of Thailand now to experience these White Lotus-inspired activities before everyone else.

Get a Thai massage in Bangkok

We know that Natasha Rothwell’s Belinda is returning from season one, so it seems safe that we can expect some wellness and spa time in The White Lotus season three—maybe we’ll even see her finally opening up that place of her own. We can’t think of a better way to honor the fan-favorite character than by relaxing with a Thai massage after a day of sightseeing. A full body massage only runs around 500 baht (about $15-$20 with tip), one of the many reasons we consider the self-care practice one of the best things to do in Thailand.

Visit the White Temple in Chiang Rai

It’s clear that The White Lotus showrunner, Mike White, loves symbolism, and we think Chiang Rai’s Wat Rong Khun, also known as the White Temple, is right up his alley. Every inch of the brilliant white temple is covered in imagery depicting the cycle of rebirth, heaven and hell, and good triumphing over evil—ranging from historical figures to contemporary superheroes. “It was so special because it’s strikingly different from all of the other temples we visited,” said traveler Maureen. “The coolest thing about it is that there are depictions of Spiderman, Darth Vader, Michael Jackson, Hello Kitty, and even Angry Birds characters intermingled with flames, demons, and tragic scenes in history.” Visit the White Temple on our Grand Tour of Thailand: Bangkok, Chiang Mai & Phuket to see why we consider it one of the hidden gems of Thailand.

See the elephants in Koh Lanta or Chiang Mai

We can’t imagine the crew of The White Lotus would go all the way to Thailand without giving the country’s famous gentle giants some much-deserved screen time. Asiatic elephants are the beloved national animal of Thailand but are classified as an endangered species. Luckily, there are several hands-off sanctuaries across the country working to protect these magnificent creatures, making Thailand one of the world’s top destinations for responsible wildlife experiences. Visit Following Giants Elephant Sanctuary on our Grand Tour of Southeast Asia: Vietnam, Cambodia & Thailand or Highlights of Southern Thailand: Bangkok, Phuket & Krabi tour, or stop at ChangChill Elephant Sanctuary on our Grand Tour of Thailand: Bangkok, Chiang Mai & Phuket or Thailand for Solo Travelers: Bangkok, Phuket & the Islands tour to observe the elephants roaming free in their natural habitat.

Chat with a Buddhist monk in Chiang Mai

Showrunner Mike White has hinted that the third season of The White Lotus will focus on spirituality, eastern religions, and death, so we’re willing to bet Buddhist teachings will come into play at some point. Learn more about the philosophy and the Buddhist monks’ way of life when you visit the Wat Suan Dok Buddhist temple complex on one of our Thailand tours. Here, you’ll meet a resident monk to discuss Buddhism and ask questions. “I enjoyed visiting the temples, but having an actual monk come to lecture and answer questions was the best part,” said traveler Erica after returning from our Grand Tour of Thailand: Bangkok, Chiang Mai & Phuket.

Explore the markets in Bangkok and beyond

Thailand’s lively and often chaotic markets are such a part of the local culture we can’t imagine they won’t make it into at least one episode of The White Lotus. Whether it’s the Maeklong Railway Market that’s packed up and reassembled every time a train passes through, the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, where wares are bought and sold from long-tail boats, or one of the country’s many night markets where locals gather to shop and snack, Thailand’s markets are hubs of culture, color, and energy. Visit the markets on a tour of Thailand to experience the country like one of the few White Lotus guests who actually venture outside the resort.

Enjoy traditional Thai food across the country

It wouldn’t be a White Lotus resort without copious amounts of mouthwatering food, and we can’t wait to see which traditional Thai dishes make an appearance on screen. There are so many can’t-miss foods to try in Thailand, and tasting our way through the country is one of our favorite things to do on our Thailand tours. When you join our Grand Tour of Thailand: Bangkok, Chiang Mai & Phuket or Thailand for Solo Travelers: Bangkok, Phuket & the Islands tour, you’ll have the option to add on our Lanna Family Home-Hosted Dinner excursion to break bread in the open-air garden of a local family’s home. You’ll enjoy traditional cuisine while learning more about the Lanna culture of Northern Thailand firsthand. What’s more, you’ll attend a Thai cooking class on our Thailand tours, which means you’ll be able to recreate these traditional dishes even after returning home.

Want to visit these White Lotus season 3 filming locations before they become too popular? Join us on a Thailand tour!

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Where are The White Lotus season 2 filming locations in Sicily?


Sicily

While season one of The White Lotus was filmed almost entirely in one location due to pandemic restrictions, in season two, characters got to leave the resort a bit. Fewer restrictions meant that the cast and crew could film at several different locations around Sicily.

While Cameron may be content to ride jet skis and have drinks at the pool bar, other characters, like Daphne, want to get out and experience a bit of la dolce vita in Sicily. Meanwhile, the start of the season sees poor Portia dying to sneak out of her hotel room and experience—well, anything.

You can visit these White Lotus filming locations on one of our trips to Sicily

Taormina

Taormina

Much of season two takes place at the fictional White Lotus resort in Sicily. While the chain may be fictional—and we should probably be grateful for that after their recent string of bad luck—the hotel is real, down to the infinity pool and breathtaking views of Mount Etna. The San Domenico Palace, once a 14th-century monastery, is now a luxury hotel run by the Four Seasons group.

The town of Taormina sits on a rocky hilltop overlooking the Ionian Sea. Wander through the cobblestone streets and public gardens on one of our trips to Taormina, and live out your wildest dreams of emulating Monica Vitti, just like Jennifer Coolidge’s Tanya did—Vespa not required.

In the second episode of the season, the Di Grasso family—along with a somewhat reluctant Portia—tour the Greek Theater of Taormina, an arresting and educational stop on any of our Sicily tours. The theater was dug out of the surrounding rock in the third century B.C. and was expanded by the Romans in the third century A.D. Walk down the sunbaked stone steps and experience it yourself. “Taormina was my favorite, and the ancient amphitheater is amazing,” said traveler Maria.

Related article: 4 ways to spend free time in Taormina

Isola Bella

Isola Bella

Down the hill from Taormina lies Isola Bella, a small island nature reserve just offshore, and the site of Ethan and Daphne’s dubious off-camera moment. Ride a cable car down from Taormina to Mazzarò to explore the island; just know that the sandbar that leads to it is only revealed at low tide.

The foreshadowing story that Quentin tells Tanya about the woman who owned the house on Isola Bella is at least partially true. While she wasn’t thrown into the sea (she died in 1907 of pneumonia), Florence Trevelyan, a wealthy English woman, built the house and is responsible for introducing many of the exotic plants that thrive on the island.

Mt. Etna

Mount Etna

Mount Etna looms in the background throughout most of the season, reminding us of the building tension while foreshadowing the show’s violent ending. The volcano erupts in the last episode of the season, and yes—it’s real. Mount Etna is an active volcano that towers above Taormina, and you can visit it. “Having Mount Etna erupt while we were in Taormina was amazing,” said traveler Doreen.

If you’re feeling adventurous, take a bus 5,000 feet up the side of Mount Etna on the Mount Etna: Sicily’s Volcanic Landscapes excursion on one of our Sicily tours and explore the volcano’s craters before settling in for a three-course lunch.

Alternatively, take a page out of Harper’s book and visit one of Etna’s sun-soaked vineyards. During the Mount Etna Wine Region Tasting & Dinner excursion on our Food & Wine: Southern Italy & Sicily tour, you’ll taste Etna Rosso blends made from grapes grown in the volcano’s ashy soil—just like the Spillers and Sullivans in episode five. Whether you choose to grill your companions with personal questions is up to you. “Our first wine tasting was up on Mount Etna,” said traveler John. “We enjoyed a panoramic view of the sea while experiencing a variety of wines paired with Sicilian food.”

Cefalu

Cefalù

The season opens on what is supposed to be a beach in Taormina, part of the grounds of the White Lotus resort. In reality, this and several other beach scenes were filmed in the seaside town of Cefalù on the island’s northern coast. Showrunner Mike White thought that the beach near Taormina was beautiful, but too rocky. He wanted a location that exuded tranquility to contrast with the foreboding opening of the season. You can visit this charming town and relax by the beach just like Daphne on the optional Cefalù Wine Tasting & Dinner excursion offered on our A Week in Sicily: Palermo, Syracuse & Taormina tour.

Portia and Jack’s harrowing “spontaneous” overnight trip toward the end of the season was also filmed in Cefalù. Although things got confusing for (an arguably already bewildered) Portia, the couple did spend a pleasant afternoon strolling through the town’s quaint streets and drinking beer in the sunshine.

Fiumefreddo

Fiumefreddo di Sicilia

In episode three, the Di Grasso men, with Portia in tow once again, head to Castello degli Schiavi. The estate was a prominent filming location in The Godfather, most famously the setting of the car explosion that took the life of Michael Corleone’s wife, Apollonia.

The villa is in the town of Fiumefreddo di Sicilia, just 30 minutes outside of Taormina. In reality, you won’t find a gift shop or a mannequin staged in a vintage car here—the villa is privately owned, though they do offer tours when booked in advance.

Travel tip: If you’re interested in seeing more sites from The Godfather films, check out the Hidden Sicily: Medieval Savoca & Forza d’Agrò excursion offered on our A Week in Sicily: Palermo, Syracuse & Taormina tour and Sicily: A Cultural Journey tour.

Noto

Noto

The site of Daphne and Harper’s impromptu girl’s trip (though Harper would be quick to point out that it was more of an abduction), Noto is a small village near the southern tip of Sicily and is celebrated for its stunning Sicilian Baroque architecture. Stroll through the plaza in front of the Church of San Francesco d’Assisi all’Immacolata, where Aubrey Plaza’s Harper paid homage to Monica Vitti’s iconic scene from L’Avventura. It’s just steps away from Palazzo Ducezio and Noto Cathedral (a UNESCO World Heritage site)—both impressive examples of the town’s famous architecture. Afterward, take a tip from the girls and enjoy an Aperol spritz before browsing for locally crafted ceramics.

The scenes at the palazzo where Quentin hosts Tanya and Portia (and throws his wild party) were also filmed in Noto. Although those scenes were meant to take place in Palermo, they were filmed at Villa Elena, a former monastery turned Baroque vacation home just outside Noto.

Visit Noto on the Baroque City of Noto excursion offered on our A Week in Sicily: Palermo, Syracuse & Taormina tour

Related article: Sicilian villa lunch & Noto village excursion spotlight

Palermo

Palermo

We see a few different sides of Sicily’s capital city of Palermo in The White Lotus season two. While Portia and Jack eat arancini and get into mischief in the city’s Old Town, Quentin and his friends take Tanya to see Madama Butterfly at Teatro Massimo, the largest opera house in Italy. You can retrace their steps on a trip to Palermo—definitely don’t skip the arancini—and take in some of the city’s captivating artwork and mosaics for good measure.

Fun fact: The villa that Daphne and Harper stay at on their trip to Noto is actually in Palermo as well. That’s right—the “Noto” villa was actually in Palermo, whereas the “Palermo” villa scenes were shot in Noto!

Ready to visit these White Lotus season two filming locations in real life with us? Check out our trips to Sicily.


Maui

Where are The White Lotus season 1 filming locations in Maui?


The White Lotus season one’s filming location was born out of necessity. The show was conceptualized at the height of the pandemic and was filmed almost entirely in one location to work around restrictions. The cast and crew lived and worked on location at the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea and were completely isolated during production.

There are worse places to quarantine than paradise and the season had us pining for turquoise water and otherworldly sunsets. Thankfully, you can visit Maui on our Hawaii: Oahu, the Big Island & Maui tour and discover scenery so breathtaking that even Shane couldn’t find anything to complain about. “I would take this tour again,” said traveler Kate. “I loved the food, beaches, and culture of Hawaii! It’s definitely a must-see destination.”

Although the characters in season one don’t find many excuses to venture off the resort property, they still find plenty of activities to keep themselves busy on their vacation (aside from unapologetically disrupting the lives of resort staff, that is). Ostracized by his sister Olivia and her college friend Paula, Quinn Mossbacher takes to sleeping on the beach most nights. This eventually leads to him befriending a group of local men paddling an outrigger canoe and a subsequent social-180 for his character. If you’re looking for your own canoeing adventure, check out the Outrigger Canoe Experience excursion on our tour of Hawaii. We can’t promise that you’ll have a transcendental experience, but you will have a blast.

If you prefer to plan your vacations around mealtimes, consider the Honolulu Sunset Cruise & Dinner excursion—it’s more in line with what we imagine Shane hoped for when Armond offered him the complementary boat trip. Tanya may have inadvertently crashed his romantic evening in one of the most hilarious and uncomfortable scenes in season one, but at least the view was spectacular.

Want to venture outside the hotel and see the natural beauty of the island where White Lotus season one was filmed? Join us on a tour of Hawaii


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About the author | The Go Ahead Tours Team
We’re a team of passionate travel experts, dedicated to helping people explore the world. From inspiring stories to tips for an amazing trip, the topics we cover are all about getting you out there and making discoveries.

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