They say that the worst day of vacation still beats the best day of work, but I think the characters in the recent HBO series “The White Lotus” would beg to disagree. The dark drama, which wrapped up its six-episode run this past Sunday night, circles around three wealthy parties who check into the fictional The White Lotus Resort & Spa for a week-long Hawaiian getaway, one of whom, as viewers are told at the beginning of the first episode, will be killed by the series’ end.
Created by director/screenwriter Mike White of “The Good Girl” fame, the show reads like a “Big Little Lies” set at an ultra-luxe tropical resort, though production designer Laura Fox likens it more to “‘The Shining’ at the beach,” telling Town & Country magazine that the “perfect retreat” at the story’s center “seems sprawling but it’s so contained once you’re inside – that adds to the suspense but also the comedy.”
Along with heightening the drama, being “so contained” inside a hotel was also a creative solution to the many unique challenges that came with shooting a series in the midst of a global pandemic. Setting the entire series at a fictional resort allowed the production to completely take over one of the many lodgings that had been shuttered due to Covid-19 and utilize it not only for filming but to quarantine and house the large cast and crew for the duration of the shoot, as well. (As it turns out, even the show’s jewelry selection was bolstered by the sequestration.)
And what better place to set up shop for the three-month project than the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea? Situated on a lush 15 acres at 3900 Wailea Alanui Dr. in Kihei, the hotel, which is a AAA Five Diamond and Forbes Five-Star-rated property, is known for both its luxury and privacy.