Changing gears into overdrive for White Lotus Season 2, the producers opted to leave one Four Seasons Hotel for another. Sure, Hawaii’s great, but the magic and beauty of the Sicilian town of Taormina is something worth writing home about.
Think of the San Domenico Palace as a fine wine, for example, like one of our top California cult wines. This is a place you don’t just want to arrive, check in and head to your room.
Your approach should savor every nuance surrounding this palace and take in the splendor of what was once an obscure, luxury sanctuary for the rich and famous – now known to everyone thanks to HBO’s The White Lotus, Season 2.
Where is White Lotus Season 2 Filmed?
Nestled on the coast of Sicily, high upon a cliff overlooking a sweeping bay lies the ancient Greek and Roman city of Taormina. Its dramatic location on a hill between alpine crags, overlooking the Ionian Sea, is simply breathtaking.
With its aged-washed buildings, cobblestone streets, and spectacular views of the volcanic Mount Etna, Taormina is a must-visit destination for those looking to explore some of Italy’s best historical treasures.
This includes the ruins of the ancient theatre of Taormina which is still used for operatic and theatrical performances and for concerts. Other treasures of this town include Museo di Arte e Tradizioni Popolari, which houses a collection of Sicilian puppets, and the Baroque-style Joseph’s Church which was built in the 1600s.
Now that we’ve set the tone or as those in the biz like to say, the “establishing shot,” let’s venture onto the grounds of this coveted location.
San Domenico Palace – Home of The Four Seasons Hotel in Sicily
Built in 1430 The San Domenico Palace was once a Dominican monastery featuring original monks and structures. Later, it was transformed into a hotel by the princely family Rosso di Altavilla.
The ‘Ancient Convent’ wing, the remnant of a 15th-century convent, offers a unique experience with its monks’ cells converted into opulent lodgings, while the Grand Hotel wing, built in 1896, completes the luxurious accommodation provided by this remarkable hotel. The palace has been owned by the Damiano Rosso family since the 18th century.
Walk The Lush Grounds and Take in The Views
White Lotus season 2 gives viewers a glimpse into the luxurious lifestyle of the hotel’s guests, and you’ll definitely want to take a gander at the grounds of this top luxury hotel.
From private pools to Michelin-starred restaurants, the stunning architecture of this palace is adorned with courtyards framed by old stone columns, lush gardens, and an infinity pool that seemingly rolls right over the cliffs.
You’ll want to spend time just enjoying the outdoor space, which is forever far away from your stress back home. The afternoon light filtering through the leafy trees and palms creates a relaxed location second to none, for dining or just reading a book.
Since The White Lotus is just one of many films and shows that capitalized on this location, reading a nice murder mystery might be apropos for the occasion.
There are two breathtakingly tranquil courtyards with exquisitely pruned Italian gardens, that you’ll find fragrant with jasmine and hibiscus. The infinity pool is 69 feet long, so you can find just the right spot that suits you while floating and viewing the Ionian Sea.
The Principe Cerami restaurant offers an epicurean adventure in this Michelin-starred restaurant. Here, renowned chef Massimo Mantarro curates a culinary journey full of Sicilian delicacies, crafted from local ingredients and time-honored traditions.
Through his years of experience in the culinary world, Chef Massimo has created a truly exquisite dining experience that will take your taste buds on a journey around the world.
From traditional Italian recipes to global fusion dishes, there’s something for everyone. He’s concocted signature dishes like the Artisanal spaghetti Luca Crimi Mount Etna and seasonal raw and cooked vegetables presented in an Arcimboldo artwork.
More dining options are available at the AncioviLounge pool terrace, where light dishes highlight Mediterranean seafood. There are other onsite dining choices, but the added bonus of dining at Principe Cerami is that every exquisite dish is complemented by mesmerizing views of Taormina Bay.
Rooms With a Private Plunge Pool
The San Domenico Palace offers both Junior Suites and Executive Suites with a plunge pool and sea views. Nothing says vacation like waking up in the morning and taking a dip – instead of torturing yourself by checking the traffic reports to see how stressed you’re going to be. We’ll take the dip with a sea view any day of the week.
The rooms come with One king bed, one sofabed, or one crib. Cozy and comfy, you’ll bask in old-world elegance, with cornice moldings encompassing modern, sophisticated décor.
Inviting you to marvel at its magnificence, the living room’s high ceilings and vast windows beckon you outdoors to the sea-view terrace, where your private plunge pool awaits.
Rates start around US$1,400 per night and get up to around US$6,500 per night which is relatively attainable (but not cheap) for what they offer. Still, you don’t have a celebrity bank account on the affordability front.
Sicilian Sushi Masterclass
We’re big on sushi adventures and this luxury hotel offers a custom-made journey of exploration into the intricate art of crafting traditional Sicilian sushi, led by the culinary knowledge of expert chefs.
The hotel’s head chef or a senior member of their team will take you to the hustle and bustle of Catania’s fish market to pick out the freshest seafood for your creation!
Once their team brings you back to the hotel, they’ll show you the ropes of crafting Sicilian sushi and sashimi with regional ingredients. To cap off your lesson, you will get to indulge in a delectable feast featuring your handmade creations accompanied by wine from Etna – a selection recommended by the knowledgeable hotel sommelier.
Why not let the palace staff whisk you away to the ethereal summit of Mount Etna, where you can gaze upon nature’s spectacular canvas of stars? Unhindered by light pollution, the night sky from Etna will be a truly awe-inspiring sight. It’s rare to find a location that offers star-gazing without light pollution.
In fact, there are designated lands specifically protected for star-gazing around the U.S. You’ll join a knowledgeable astrophysicist in your area and marvel at the likes of Orion, Ursa Major, Cassiopeia, Centaurus, and Perseus in the starlit sky, as you listen to captivating stories of Greek mythology.
To enhance your stargazing experience, you’ll savor a delectable meal of local wines and delicacies crafted by their chef. Finally, you’ll hunker down under plush blankets, fluffy pillows, and a comfy mattress for a luxurious night of stargazing. This might even top our African safaris as far as bucket-list adventures go.
Staying at The San Domenico Palace, aka The White Lotus is an amazing journey back in medieval times that offers white glove service and a location that is nothing less than a slice of heaven on earth. If you’re the hopelessly romantic type and you’re looking for a top luxury hotel in Italy, then Taormina should be one of your places to stay. Seems like this is now also a good place for spotting celebs.
Note: The hotel closed on November 28th, 2022 for the winter and reopens on March 14th, 2023 for the new season. Will there be another season of The White Lotus at San Domenico Palace, or will we land in another obscure paradise that celebrities thought was only known to them? Stay tuned!