I stayed at 'The White Lotus' hotel in Sicily where the hit series was filmed. Here's how it compares in real life.

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Meghann Fahy as Daphne in "The White Lotus," left, and reporter Mikhaila Friel visits the hotel in real life, right.HBO, Mikhaila Friel/Insider
  • I stayed at San Domenico Palace, the hotel in Sicily where "The White Lotus" was filmed.

  • The infinity pool, piano bar, and restaurants were some of the iconic locations I saw while there.

  • In my opinion, the hotel is even more beautiful and glamorous in real life.

In April, I spent one night at San Domenico Palace, the hotel where season two of "The White Lotus" was filmed.

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Mikhaila is pictured in her hotel room in Taormina, Sicily.Mikhaila Friel/Insider

I spent one night at San Domenico Palace, a Four Seasons Hotel in Taormina, Sicily, where the cast of "The White Lotus" lived and filmed during the second season of the hit show.

I stayed in a sea-view room with a terrace, which cost $2,248, or around €2,047, for one night and the price included breakfast.

Before my visit, I was most looking forward to seeing the iconic locations from the series, including the infinity pool, the piano bar, and the hotel's restaurants. Here's how the hotel compared in real life.

In the series, guests arrive at the hotel's private beach via boat ahead of their vacation at "The White Lotus" in Sicily, Italy.

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The hotel guests arriving at "The White Lotus" hotel in Taormina, Sicily.HBO

In real life, there is no private beach at San Domenico Palace, and all beach scenes were filmed at other locations because the beaches in Taormina are too rocky.

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The rocky beaches in Taormina, Sicily.Mikhaila Friel/Insider

Source: Condé Nast Traveler

The exterior of the hotel is shown in multiple scenes, including during Tanya and Greg's photo shoot before their Vespa ride.

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Tanya and Greg outside "The White Lotus" hotel in Sicily.HBO

The exterior appeared to be unchanged in real life, sharing many of the same features including the fountain and the plants.

The entrance to San Domenico Palace, a Four Seasons Hotel
The entrance to San Domenico Palace, a Four Seasons Hotel.Mikhaila Friel/Insider

The reception desk is where the fictional hotel manager, Valentina, is often seen throughout the series as she reprimands staff and assists hotel guests.

Sabrina Impacciatore, Eleonora Romandini, Federico Ferrante
Valentina (played by Sabrina Impacciatore) is the fictional hotel manager in "The White Lotus."Photograph by Courtesy of HBO

The reception looked startlingly familiar when I checked in, as there was the same marble reception desk, comfy red seats, and sparkling chandeliers.

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The reception at San Domenico Palace, a Four Seasons Hotel.Mikhaila Friel/Insider

The characters often dined at the hotel's main restaurant, which overlooks the sea and has outdoor seating.

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"The White Lotus" guests sit at the hotel's main restaurant.HBO

I got to dine at the same restaurant for breakfast, and the scenery was even more spectacular in real life.

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Mikhaila Friel is seated for breakfast at "The White Lotus" hotel.Mikhaila Friel/Insider

Read more: I had breakfast, lunch, and dinner during my stay at 'The White Lotus' hotel in Sicily, and now I understand why the characters never dined elsewhere

In the series, Mia finally gets her chance to perform for an audience when Valentina allows her to play at the hotel's piano bar.

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Mia (played by Beatrice Grannò) plays at the piano bar in "The White Lotus."HBO

When I explored the piano bar, a staff member informed me that the pianist was off sick but that hotel guests were welcome to play if they wished.

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The piano bar in "The White Lotus" hotel.Mikhaila Friel/Insider

In the series, hotel guests are often seen hanging out at the bar in the evening, wearing sparkly dresses, and with cocktails in hand.

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Lucia (Simona Tabasco) and Mia (Beatrice Grannò) at the piano bar.HBO

But in real life, the piano bar is frequented by guests all day, as there's a breakfast buffet held there and at the restaurant in the morning.

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Juice and fruit at the bar as part of the breakfast buffet.Mikhaila Friel/Insider

Mia, Lucia, and the other characters often spend time lounging by the hotel's infinity pool.

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Mia and Lucia sit at the infinity pool.HBO

When I visited in April, there were hardly any guests at the pool, which is likely due to the fact that the weather was a tad chilly.

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The infinity pool overlooks the sea at San Domenico Palace, a Four Seasons Hotel.Mikhaila Friel/Insider

In the series, Mia and Lucia are often seen walking down the corridors of the hotel with shopping bags in hand.

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Mia and Lucia walking through the hotel.HBO

In real life, the corridors had an excellent view of the garden and the hotel's tower, the only part of the hotel that was damaged during World War II, a spokesperson told me during my visit.

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The corridor has views of the garden and tower.Mikhaila Friel/Insider

Harper and Ethan's room was next door to Daphne and Cameron's room, and they had a connectable door that allowed them to go back and forth rather than using the hallway outside.

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Mia, Lucia, and Cameron in "The White Lotus."HBO

This is a real feature that the hotel has for guests to connect to sea-view terrace premium rooms and the royal suite.

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The hallway outside my room.Mikhaila Friel/Insider

Source: Four Seasons

There's an outdoor lounge area in the hotel where Harper and Daphne spent time together.

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Harper and Daphne sit in the outdoor lounge area in "The White Lotus."HBO

In real life, the lounge was cozy, with plenty of pillows and tables to place drinks. I also liked that there were umbrellas to allow guests to get some shade.

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The outdoor lounge at San Domenico Palace, a Four Seasons Hotel.Mikhaila Friel/Insider

The hotel is located in Taormina, a hilltop town on the east coast of Sicily, where Tanya and Greg ride around on a Vespa.

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Tanya and Greg ride a Vespa in Taormina, Sicily.HBO

Taormina is the most beautiful town I've ever visited, and the fact that it's located on a hill means there are fantastic stretches of scenery wherever you go.

Taormina, Sicily
Taormina, Sicily.Mikhaila Friel/Insider

Mount Etna, an active volcano in Sicily, is shown in the background of many scenes, including this shot of Harper and Ethan waiting at the airport in the season finale.

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Harper and Ethan at the airport.HBO

Mount Etna could be viewed from the hotel, and I was able to capture some fantastic photos of it as I walked around the grounds.

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Mount Etna could be seen from the hotel.Mikhaila Friel/Insider

Isola Bella is a small island and nature reserve that Daphne and Ethan visited in the series.

Daphne and Ethan visit Isola Bella in "The White Lotus."
Daphne and Ethan visit Isola Bella in "The White Lotus."HBO

In real life, people can visit the island by foot depending on the tide, or alternatively by private tour. I only viewed it from afar, but noticed there were many visitors.

Isola Bella and the beach are pictured in Taormina, Sicily.Mikhaila Friel/Insider

Overall, I had a fantastic experience at San Domenico Palace, and the hotel was even more beautiful and glamorous than it appears on the show.

white lotus real life vs show
Mikhaila Friel, left, is pictured in her hotel room at San Domenico Palace, and Jennifer Coolidge, right, is pictured in her role as Tanya in "The White Lotus."Mikhaila Friel/Insider, HBO

I thoroughly enjoyed lounging by the infinity pool, dining at the restaurants, and hanging out at the piano bar like my favorite characters in "The White Lotus."

In my opinion, the hotel and Taormina were even more beautiful and glamorous in real life.

And although I'd never have considered paying $2,248 for a hotel room if it had been a personal trip, I'd definitely recommend a visit to the hotel's restaurants and bar.

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