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Inside The White Lotus Season 3 Filming Areas (And the Plot Traces They Encourage)

Inside The White Lotus Season 3 Filming Areas (And the Plot Traces They Encourage)

As the buzz around The White Lotus being filmed in Thailand only keeps on growing, we suss out the key filming locations and luxury hotels that could be featured — and the plot lines they inspire.

The rumour mill just cannot catch a break around The White Lotus. Netizens have been fed with new details around the show’s third season over the last few months, causing speculations and fascinations to run high.

At the beginning of the year, it was finally confirmed that The White Lotus Season 3 would be filmed in Thailand. The Tourism Authority of Thailand, together with HBO, proceeded to cast the spotlight on Bangkok, Koh Samui, and Phuket, as key filming locations. Then, the official cast was unveiled, including three Thai actors, to the delight of many local followers.

After this, it got really interesting. Almost mimicking the viewer experience, super-fans got investigative, piecing together all these new snippets of information. Which filming locations would best serve the plot of a dark-comedy-meets-murder-mystery in Thailand? Which hotel suites would be large enough to fit all the burgeoning romance and following drama? And in which waters would there be a floating body — dead or alive — to fill and thrill us with wonder?

On location and with extensive local knowledge, we did some digging, and we have some answers. 

[Hero Image Credit: HBO; Featured Image Credit: Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui]

Where will The White Lotus Season 3 be filmed? 

The White Lotus Season 1 saw filming at the Four Seasons Resort Maui, whilst Season 2 was shot at the Four Seasons’ San Domenico Palace, Taormina, in Italy. As Four Seasons boasts four luxurious properties in Thailand, would Mike White opt exclusively for these hotels, or would he stray from the predicted path and switch things up? 

Just last week, Bloomberg reported that the latter is more likely. According to “talks with almost a dozen hotel executives,” The White Lotus Season 3 will be filmed at the Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui and the Anantara Mai Khao Villas Phuket. This provides an interesting shift to the previous seasons, and whilst HBO has not confirmed (nor denied) these filming locations, a quick web search will show that both properties are fully booked for the suspected months of filming (February and April). 

Here, we take a closer look at the two hotels and the other potential filming locations for Mike White’s “supersized White Lotus.” Expect stunning landscapes, romantic hideaways, and villas so grand they (hopefully won’t) inspire another “high-end gay” murder. 

A few guesses for The White Lotus Thailand filming locations, and the plot lines they inspire

The Sukhothai Bangkok

Make it White Lotus: Mysterious lotus flowers line the pond as the guests arrive in Thailand, planting the seed for the story to come

We know Mike White likes to get a little meta in his work, and what better way to open the third season of The White Lotus than against an actual lotus pond? Strolling along the gorgeous wooden walkway outside The Sukhothai Bangkok’s Celadon restaurant or inside the central courtyard, this presents a perfect opening shot to introduce the new cast. We’re not sure whether the show will make it apparent that it is shot both in the city and on the islands, so fittingly, The Sukhothai Bangkok is an oasis that could easily meld with both locations. Our money is on Thai actor Dom Hetrakul as the resort manager, welcoming everybody with open arms. 

Anantara Riverside Bangkok Resort

Make it White Lotus: Welcome drinks are served as the guests board the boat, mysterious temple reflections appear on the Chao Phraya river as the gang heads south

It’s not realistic, but it has been done before. Remember in The Hangover II when the islands were accessible from Bangkok by yacht? Since boat arrivals are popular on The White Lotus, we can imagine the cast sipping cocktails aboard Loy Pela after they board at the Anantara Riverside Bangkok Resort pier. Glimmering shots of the nearby temples set the scene, as Mike White has teased that Season 3 will focus more on spirituality. As the sun rises over the Temple of Dawn, we know a good story is on the horizon — as long as everyone wears sensible shoes, of course.  

Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui

Make it White Lotus: Sprawling sea views, swoon-worthy private villas, and bright sun beds set the backdrop for exotic romance and suspenseful scheming 

It is undeniable that The White Lotus can have a massive effect on the local economy, and anyone who has watched Season 2 will know how hard it was not to book an imminent flight to Sicily. The Four Seasons resort in Koh Samui could serve as the gorgeous hill-side backdrop for all the drama to ensue, with spacious pool villas, outdoor dining (ideal for those daily breakfast scenes), and brightly-coloured sun beds for lounging, gossiping, and potential scheming. 

Additionally, Mike White was actually spotted hanging out at this resort — perhaps location scouting — so this White Lotus filming location is a pretty confident guess. CNN Travel even noted that the hotel has “no availability…from early February through to the last week of March.”

Koh Phangan

Make it White Lotus: Youngsters take strange drugs, neon face paint adorns half-naked bodies, as fire shows, fiery affairs, and jaw-dropping plot twists ensue

We can’t imagine The White Lotus without at least one party sequence. Not too far from Koh Samui, why not head to the most famous Thai party island of all, and have the characters get wild at the world-famous Full Moon Party? Questionable drugs enter the blood stream, neon paint turns faces into figures, fire shows spice up the night, and that all-encompassing The White Lotus soundtrack slivers through the scene: we just know this would be a major (dark) turning point on the show. Beneath a full moon and all its meanings, the culprits will have some major reflecting to do the next day. Maybe they’ll grab one of the island’s famous smoothie bowls to do so. 

See Also

Anantara Phuket Mai Khao Phuket Villas

Make it White Lotus: Wellness immersions cleanse the conscious, a touch of culture feeds the curious, and finally, redemption for Belinda

Following Bloomberg’s trail, the Anantara Phuket Mai Khao Phuket Villas will also feature on The White Lotus Season 3. We’d love to see the characters embrace local culture here, be it with a Muay Thai class (Thai cast member Tayme Thapthimthong is a fitness fanatic after all), or a visit to the spa. It has been rumoured that Natasha Rothwell (who played Hawaiian spa manager Belinda Lindsey in Season 1) will be returning to the show, and this would be a perfect spot for her reappearance, and her redemption. As Mike White has teased the season will see a “satirical and funny look at death” it could be a comment on karma following what happened to Belinda in Season 1. 

Phang Nga Bay

Make it White Lotus: Island-hopping, jet skis, and impressive shots of the archipelago make for a clever nod to a James Bond pistol duel 

Injecting more wanderlust into the season, Phang Nga Bay could make for a wonderful filming location for The White Lotus Season 3, given that the guests of the resort often engage in water activities, and enjoy day trips to other locations. In Season 2, a few of the guests visit the set of The Godfather in Fiumefreddo. In Thailand, they could do something similar and visit ‘James Bond Island,’ or Koh Tapu, which featured in the 1974 film The Man with the Golden Gun. Here, right on the island, James Bond takes part in a pistol duel. Hint, hint. Nudge, nudge. 

Four Seasons Bangkok at Chao Phraya River

Make it White Lotus: A return to the city for sobering reflections, and a classy cocktail for the road

The final episodes of The White Lotus often feature an airport scene, wherein the characters gaze out the window (sometimes at a body bag), and reflect on their actions. For a similarly sobering effect, we can imagine their return to the city from the islands to the Four Seasons Bangkok, where the guests can gaze out the floor-to-ceiling windows at the Chao Phraya River once more. Of all the Four Seasons properties in Thailand, this hotel boasts a more modern design ethos, and is lauded for its multiple dining outlets — especially its bar. Perhaps they indulge in one final cocktail before their long flight back home. They take sips and sighs. The sun sets over the river, the city of temples. End scene. 

This story first appeared on Lifestyle Asia Bangkok

Source: Prestige Online

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