What Should ‘The White Lotus’ Do Next? We Asked Designers, Somms, Travel Experts and More

After an impressive debut, HBO’s critically acclaimed social satire The White Lotus returned for a second installment, offering viewers more dysfunctionally affluent guests and put-out staffers and a serious case of travel envy. The immensely popular series has amassed a cult following within the luxury world, many of whom have strong opinions about where the show should film next—and who could possibly fill the Jennifer Coolidge–size hole in their hearts. Ahead of season three’s arrival next year, we asked top designers, travel advisers, jewelers, chefs, and sommeliers—plus a casting director, a mafia expert, and even a former mobster—to take a turn in the showrunner’s chair. After all, who better to weigh in than those who spend their time catering to those “challenging” clients the show so successfully sends up? If you’re reading this, Mike White, take notes.

Where would you set next season?

“Palm Springs, like Hawaii or Sicily, is one of those singular locations where you have a dramatic landscape and this sense of reality versus fantasy. It evokes Hollywood glamour, but there’s an underbelly. There are also a lot of over-the-top gays, which seems to be an important part of The White Lotus brand.” —Jonathan Adler, potter, interior designer, and author 

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The season-two White Lotus staff greet their guests in Sicily.
The season-two White Lotus staff greet their guests in Sicily.

“If they were to do it in Iceland, there’s so many riffs that they could pull just having a different climate. There’s a big troll culture there, the northern lights, volcanic tunnels—things you’ve never seen or encountered before.” —Jennifer Schwartz, managing partner at Authentic Explorations 

Sunrise landscape at Fjadrargljufur canyon in Iceland
Fjadrargljufur canyon in Iceland

“In Porto Montenegro, you have jetties with $100 million yachts, all the top Russian oligarchs, and debauchery on every level. When I think of The White Lotus, I think of people letting out their worst secrets or indiscretions. Porto Montenegro is an eclectic area of opulent wealth where people from around the world have settled— and a lot of them have baggage.” —Lepa Galeb-Roskopp, fine-jewelry designer, founder of Misahara 

If you had to cast yourself as a new character, what role would you play?

“The family decorator that gets killed. Local designer gone missing? Where should I send my casting tape?” —Jeremiah Brent, interior designer, founder of lifestyle brand Atrio, and Queer Eye host 

Who would you cast?

“I think someone comedic like Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson from Broad City would be great. Who’s going to replace the Jennifer Coolidge of it all? So maybe it’s a duo, like Aaron Paul and Bryan Cranston.” —June Rodil, master sommelier and CEO and partner of Goodnight Hospitality 

Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson
Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson

“Kristin Scott Thomas, Emily Blunt, or Anne Hathaway. Ewan McGregor, Ryan Gosling—Rupert Everett for sure, and maybe even Meryl Streep.” —Jules Maury, head of Scott Dunn Private 

Do you have a vacation horror story a la The White Lotus?

“When I was in Egypt a few years ago, someone was murdered in the hotel. Some wealthy businessman brought in a hooker who ended up stabbing and robbing him at a very glamorous hotel in the middle of Cairo.” —Martyn Lawrence Bullard 

“A huge group came in to celebrate someone’s 50th birthday. The night before, they were all out on the patio drinking and having a good time. On the way back to the room, the guest of honor tripped, fell, hit his head, and passed away.” —Leigh Anne Dolecki, president of concierge association Les Clefs d’Or USA 

“We were hitchhiking in Thailand, trying to get to some restaurant that we had heard about from locals. Long story short, we ended up in the wrong car, and this gentleman decided to drive on the wrong side of the highway at full speed uphill. So, when we got to a red light we jumped out, but I left my cell phone in the car.” —Matt Kammerer, executive chef at the Michelin two-star Harbor House Inn 


“A game ranger took a group out for a ride at night and said, ‘I’ll be right back, I thought I heard something,’ and walked away from the vehicle. He didn’t come back, and the guests started getting nervous. There’s a radio in the vehicle, so at some point they called in. As it turns out, a leopard had jumped from a tree and killed him.” —Lisa Beach, casting director whose credits include Wedding Crashers and Center Stage

Create Your Own White Lotus Plot.

“I imagine Jennifer Coolidge’s husband turning up, but he’s with another wife. Weirdly, she’s not like that broken, older woman—she’s far more confident, sassy, together, well-dressed. Maybe she could be Jennifer’s niece or someone who lost their inheritance [from Coolidge’s character, Tanya] because he inherited all her money. There could also be a Jeremy Irons–type character from Brideshead Revisited sitting in a corner with a book, and maybe he’s really Jennifer’s long-lost son and he’s out to get revenge because he loved his mother so much.

“To throw it off a bit, there’s always one of these families, but maybe rather than elegant, rich, refined people, they own car showrooms in Texas or somewhere in the Midwest. They arrive with their sugar-sodden children and are putting everyone’s noses out of joint, but we all love them by the end, and they’re the heroes.” —Adam Brown, founder of resort-wear label Orlebar Brown, whose orange polo Cameron (Theo James) sported in the season-two opener 

“There’s a group of people that came together. They’re on the Africa leg of an Abercrombie & Kent trip around the world, and they go by private charter to one of those wildly exclusive and expensive places like Singita. This woman in her 50s, maybe Viola Davis, is on this spiritual journey to Africa to discover her roots and really immerse herself in the culture. She has a name-change ceremony and goes to the sangoma, a witch doctor, who tells her fortune.

Viola Davis walks the runway during "Le Défilé L'Oréal Paris - Walk Your Worth" Show as part of Paris Fashion Week at the Eiffel Tower on October 01, 2023 in Paris, France.
Actress Viola Davis

“Suffice to say, she finds herself, but as it happens, sometimes these single women get a very bad case of what the locals call khaki fever. That’s when an American woman falls madly in love with their game ranger.

“The guide, who’s the black-sheep heir to a South African diamond fortune, is going to be either Chris Hemsworth or Will Poulter. Somebody’s going to get killed on safari, but you don’t know whether they were eaten by a lion or thrown in front of one or bitten by a black mamba.” —Lisa Beach 

What hotel would you use as a stand-in for White Lotus?

One& Only Kéa Island resort in Greece
One & Only Kéa Island resort in Greece

The Grand Hôtel de Cala Rossa in Corsica is one of the dreamiest hotels, and no one knows about it. When you go there, you’re either Middle Eastern royalty or some major European celebrity. It’s not like the South of France, where everybody’s just nobody and pretends to be somebody—this is the spot where people really go to hide.” —Sylva Yepremian, founder of jewelry brand Sylva & Cie 

“The new One& Only Kéa Island would be fab, with all the Greek legends, intrigue, and so much to explore: a stop in Athens, a visit to Amanzoe en route, diving for treasures.” —Jules Maury 

What details does The White Lotus get right?

“I was obsessed with Villa Tasca from Daphne and Harper’s getaway in season two. The pool, the lounge, the citrus trees—everything about it was so dramatic and timeless. I love the idea of the historical murals on the walls reflecting the plotline.” —Jeremiah Brent 

“I think White Lotus shows the magic and the theater of staying in luxury hotels. Suddenly, wherever you’re staying, as long as there are other guests, you find yourself in a live play where you get to know the other dramatic personae and speculate about them. That’s what White Lotus captures so brilliantly, and I think a lot of young people who only do Airbnb are missing out.” —Jonathan Adler 

Ferretti 97
Ferretti 97

“The Ferretti 97, the boat they used in the show, is one of the most luxurious, so I think it was appropriate. They used it for the day trip from Taormina to Palermo. It’s a five-cabin boat with six crew members. Last year, it was the biggest boat we had in Taormina.” —Vincenzo Sorbello, manager and CEO at charter specialist Vento di Grecale 

“I couldn’t help but be inspired by the overall styling and representation of resort wear in both seasons. In season one, you’ve got your laid-back, casual costumes, then really big and bold designer fashion in season two. Funnily enough, our 2025 high-summer collection is inspired by the TV series.” —Danny Ching, head of design at Frescobol Carioca 

Jennifer Coolidge’s always artfully dressed Tanya mingles with her new friends in Sicily.
Jennifer Coolidge’s always artfully dressed Tanya mingles with her new friends in Sicily.

“That man who was demanding the room [Jake Lacy, in season one], he went about it the exact opposite way of how you want to go about it, which makes it hilarious because we’ve all had guests who have done that.” —Leigh Anne Dolecki 

“Everyone paints Italian mobsters as old-world bigots, but although they never spoke within the guidelines of political correctness, they never judged people on the basis of color, religion, or sexuality. They only saw money, which, if it overrides hatreds, isn’t such a bad outlook. The Genovese family’s stronghold was Greenwich Village, and they either owned or controlled all the gay bars and clubs there for decades, long before ordinary Americans were ready to accept gays. In a strange way, the mob, by opening gay bars and clubs which were protected by mobsters, did more for gay rights than any other group in America.” —Louis Ferrante, author and former member of the Gambino crime family 

Where do you think The White Lotus falls flat?

“It’s a crime to stay at the hotel the whole time. It’s like an insult to culture and the region, and kind of cringey to see that as a viewer. It’s probably not top of mind [for the characters] to go wander down a back alley somewhere and see what grandma’s cooking, which is unfortunate.” —Matt Kammerer 

“I think it was fantastic and genius for them to use Italian actors [including Simona Tabasco and Beatrice Grannò]. They were amazing, and the hotel itself is a gorgeous property. The thing that was just very confusing is the fact that they did a juxtaposition of the hotel and a beach that was two hours away. We have clients that come, and they’re like, ‘We want to go to the beach—where’s the beach?’ and there is no beach because the resort is on top of a mountain.” —Jennifer Schwartz 

“As a mom with an 11-year-old who has been to 31 countries, I would love them to have some younger role models—kids who learn languages, can sit at a table without a device, share their knowledge with parents.” —Cari Gray, founder of private-travel specialist Gray & Co. 

'The White Lotus' character
'The White Lotus' character

“The thing that was a bit confusing was the miles between the hotel and the other parts of Sicily. With a powerboat, going from Taormina to Cefalù, it takes about nine hours of navigation or more. But in the show, it only took, like, an hour.” —Vincenzo Sorbello 

“The idea that the drug dealer [Stefano Gianino] would belong to an influential mafia family from Palermo is a grotesque representation of the mafia. The mafia is a more complex phenomenon, characterized by people in power—politicians, businessmen. Imagine a plot with criminals and lawyers putting a strategy together to invest the proceeds of a crime. That would’ve been a better representation of the mafia.” —Antonio Nicaso, author, professor, and expert on organized crime 

What former character would you like to return?

Haley Lu Richardson
Haley Lu Richardson

“I would love Portia [Haley Lu Richardson] to come back. What if she inherits a little bit of Tanya’s fortune, and then you see this kind of rags-to-riches story and how money can really damage a character? There was just a loving quirkiness about her that I really enjoyed watching. She was like a little mirror image of Jennifer Coolidge’s character, so I could almost see her growing into something very similar.” —Sylva Yepremian 

Is there a fan theory you want to see play out?

“The main one is, what’s going to happen to Tanya’s money? I feel like Belinda needs some sort of compensation, if not Portia.” — Danny Ching 

Jon Gries
Jon Gries

“There are always these rather horrific scenes that shock you, so I quite liked the idea of Tanya’s husband [Jon Gries] going into a meat grinder in the end.” —Adam Brown 

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