If you recently found yourself on the edge of your seat binge-watching the second season of The White Lotus, you're not alone. According to Variety, season two episodes reportedly brought in a whopping 10.1 million viewers across platforms. And it makes sense; there's something undisputably absorbing about the series, from the idiosyncratic characters to the suspense that colors every single scene. The series does a lot of things right—but what we can't stop thinking about are the breathtaking settings and the idyllic hotels that the characters call home for the duration of the story.
The first season of this mega-hit series took place in Hawaii, with the majority of filming happening at the iconic Four Seasons Wailea in Maui, a long-time honeymoon hotspot and every bit as magical as the show makes it out to be. This year, season two took viewers across the Atlantic to the dreamy town of Taormina in Sicily—and it also happened to be filmed at a Four Seasons hotel (we're sensing a trend). Lucky for fans, staying at these sumptuous properties is 100 percent possible, and both are ideal destinations for an unforgettable honeymoon—with different kinds of thrills, maybe.
"Sicily is the perfect destination to share love, passion, and 'la dolce vita,'" says Lorenzo Maraviglia, General Manager of San Domenico Palace, Taormina, a Four Seasons Hotel, where much of season two was filmed. Here, Maraviglia explains what makes this Italian paradise the ideal honeymoon getaway.
Meet the Expert
Lorenzo Maraviglia is the General Manager of San Domenico Palace, Taormina, a Four Seasons Hotel in Sicily.
If you, like Tonya McQuaid, dream of donning your finest Monica Vitti ensemble and hopping on the back of a Vespa, a White Lotus-style honeymoon in Sicily is just the ticket.
Discovering La Dolce Vita
Just like the characters in the HBO series, there are opportunities around every winding street corner to embrace Sicily's famously laid-back style and classic Mediterranean atmosphere. "Take a drive in a tiny original Fiat 500 or Ape car (perfect for two!) to visit the area around Taormina. Drive up winding roads into small villages to see the sights and admire views of the Ionian sea," suggests Maraviglia. Other honeymoon activities include leisurely boat rides in the bay, afternoons spent sipping traditional Sicilian sparkling wine, and quick trips out the iconic Isola Bella (you likely recall this from the show!). "Mount Etna, Europe’s largest active volcano also offers a plethora of incredible experiences from wine tours to mountain biking or trekking."
The Energy of San Domenico Palace
With a history dating back to the 14th century, San Domenico Palace is unlike any other property in the area, boasting a prime location perched atop the Ionian Sea. Maraviglia explains that guests can see Mount Etna to the right of the hotel, and the famous Ancient Theatre to the left—and as if the views could get any better, the hotel is the ideal spot to watch the sun sink below the volcano, coloring the sky in bright pink hues. "At night, if the volcano is active, you can see her (we refer to Mount Etna in the feminine!) erupt from the hotel," says Maraviglia. "It’s powerful! The energy is incredible. It ignites passion."
In terms of the hotel itself, San Domenico Palace, as represented in The White Lotus, is a honeymooner's dream. Accommodations feature sea-facing terraces, private plunge pools, and fittingly palatial rooms and suites. Interiors are elegant with neutral color palettes that perfectly complement the vibrant blue of the Ionian sea. "[When guests] want to experience hotel life, they can lounge by our iconic infinity pool, enjoy meals at our fabulous restaurants, or have a drink at the bar." You'll find all the beautiful features from scenes in the show, from that iconic infinity pool to white-washed columns and archways throughout the hotel.
Romance Around Every Corner
Here, Maraviglia shares the best ways to indulge in Italian romance at San Domenico Palace and in the surrounding storybook town of Taormina.
- "We have a particularly romantic corner on our terrace overlooking the Ionian sea (and with a view of the Ancient Theatre)," says Maraviglia, "where we can set up a gorgeous dinner for two with a personalized menu."
- A particularly unique activity that the hotel offers includes a private stargazing safari at Etna. "Couples can enjoy the spectacle of the unpolluted night sky while an expert astronomer weaves tales of mythology while pointing out the constellations. Afterward, enjoy a delicious meal catered by our team under a canopy of stars."
- Of course, a luxurious honeymoon wouldn't be complete without a spa treatment (or several). San Domenico Palace will debut its new spa in the spring/summer of 2023, complete with couples' massage treatments and private spa suites featuring Jacuzzis and plunge pools.
Ready to celebrate your love under the Sicilian Sun? We sure are.