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Image / Living / Travel

The hotel in ‘The White Lotus’ season two is real… but staying there won’t come cheap


By Sarah Finnan
14th Jul 2023
The hotel in ‘The White Lotus’ season two is real… but staying there won’t come cheap

Nothing says 'out of office' quite like a stay at a breathtaking Sicilian palace. 

For those of you familiar with the premise of The White Lotus, staying at the hotel it was filmed in may not be your idea of fun – without giving too much away, each season centres on a murder that takes place at an idyllic luxury hotel. Unnerving to say the least…

That said, the story isn’t based on actual events and was completely fabricated by Mike White, so, if you can get by that, then the Four Seasons San Domenico Palace might just be the perfect setting for your summer getaway this year. 

Situated on a rocky outcrop in Taormina, Sicily, the hotel oozes old-school Italian glamour, with origins dating all the way back to 1374. Housed in a former Dominican convent, the space was expanded in 1896 to become a hotel and features everything you could possibly want from a five-star hotel – including lavish gardens, infinity pools, fine dining, dramatic landscapes, a relaxing spa and some of the best views around. 

However, while it’s been thoroughly renovated to bring it up to 21st-century standards, aesthetically, the treatment has been subtle, retaining as much of the building and area’s historical importance as possible. Take the artwork, for example – they’re not reproductions but originals from the former old collection. Authenticity is key here.

“The resort’s real vibe is very much similar to what you see and feel in [The White Lotus],” hotel manager, Lorenzo Maraviglia, told CNN Travel of what guests can expect of their stay. “It’s vibrant, it’s about Sicily – both romantic and sexy –and about our incredible guests who this year included Madonna and Sharon Stone.”

They’re not the only high-profile guests to have stayed there either and for more than a century, the hotel has welcomed some of the world’s most illustrious stars – from Oscar Wilde and King Edward VIII to Elizabeth Taylor, Audrey Hepburn and Sophia Loren. And of course, The White Lotus’ Tanya McQuoid (played by the inimitable Jennifer Coolidge). 

Inside, there are 111 rooms, suites and speciality suites. Guests have five different accommodations to choose from, with those on offer ranging from sea-facing rooms to suites with panoramic views of Mount Etna and al fresco spaces overlooking the ancient Greek theatre. As we all know though, Tanya’s got expensive taste and a stay at the San Domenico Palace does not come cheap. According to Maraviglia, customers spend an average of €3,000 to €5,000 a night during high season… and expectations are high. 

Maybe by this time next year we’ll have scraped together enough for a visit? Probably not but a girl can dream. In the meantime, take a closer look at the hotel’s interiors and surroundings in our gallery below. 

Imagery via Four Seasons

This article was originally published in February 2023.