Thailand is the frontrunner for the next filming location of hit TV series The White Lotus, but which resort will be the star of the show?

It has swept awards season, generated millions of hilarious memes and inspired some of the most serious travel envy we’ve ever experienced. Now, it’s been reported that season three of The White Lotus is going to be shot in Thailand. 

While the first season was set in Hawaii and focused on money, and the second season, set in Sicily, centred around sex, the writer and producer of The White Lotus, Mike White, has said: “The third season would be maybe a satirical and funny look at death and Eastern religion and spirituality.”

Since making the comment, White has been spotted in Thailand, posting on Instagram from the Four Seasons Koh Samui, while my hotel sources tell me that the Emmy-award-winning creator has also visited the Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle in Chiang Rai.

Famed for its rich Buddhist culture, remarkable temples, palm-lined landscapes, high-end resorts and deep-reaching wellness retreats, the Land of Smiles is the perfect backdrop for a satirical swan dive into the caprices and cruelties of the one per cent.

So far, the White Lotus production team has stayed loyal to the Four Seasons, filming season one at the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea and season two at the San Domenico Palace, Taormina, also a Four Seasons hotel.

But, Thailand has no shortage of potential candidates for White Lotus and if I was scouting for a location, here are a few hotels I might suggest.  

Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle, Chiang Rai

This luxury tented camp is in the jungly north of Thailand on a confluence of the Mekong River, where the borders of Thailand, Laos and Myanmar meet. There are just 15 air-conditioned tents and the setting couldn’t be more photogenic: mist intertwined with the rainforest canopy in the morning, long-tail boats silhouetted against molten sunsets, crystalline night skies – and then there are the elephants, the real stars of the show. 

The Four Seasons shares a sanctuary housing more than 20 elephants rescued from the logging and tourism industries with its neighbour the Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp and Resort. The gentle giants are regular fixtures around both resorts. Guests are allowed to interact with the animals in an ethical manner, bathing them in the river, feeding them watermelons and pumpkins and taking long walks through the grasslands together. 

*Doubles from about $4,400 per night (all-inclusive)

Four Seasons Koh Samui

Mike White’s Instagram post clearly shows him lounging on the pearly white beach at the Four Seasons Koh Samui, an all-villa resort tumbling down a jungle-covered hillside to an ostensibly private beach in the serene far northwest of the island. Here, guests arrive at an outdoor viewing platform with scene-stealing views of the shimmering Gulf of Thailand while being presented with jasmine bracelets and frangipani-scented cold towels. 

Spaciously laid out around the hillside and beach are 60 teak and thatched-roof villas, in creams and aquamarines with canopied beds, private pools and showstopping sea views. Aside from the secluded location, private yacht charters, superb food and drink, and meticulous attention to detail, the rainforest-shrouded spa is another major A-list draw, offering holistic therapies such as astrology and palm reading alongside coconut body scrubs, traditional Thai massages and oxygenating facials.

*Doubles from about $1300 per night

Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok

The Four Seasons opened a sleek new Bangkok hotel designed by Jean-Michel Gathy on the banks of the Chao Phraya in 2021 but if the White Lotus team want to tap into the capital’s rich history they should turn their attention upriver towards the Mandarin Oriental. Thailand’s undisputed grande dame has been around for nearly 150 years and has hosted literary luminaries such as Nöel Coward, Somerset Maugham and Graham Greene, as well as some of the most famous faces of the last century, from Elizabeth Taylor to David Bowie and Michelle Yeoh. 

The original Author’s Wing is a film set on its own, all gleaming white marble, snowflake-like fretwork, imperial staircases, Juliet balconies and potted palms. Elsewhere, there are Michelin-starred restaurants, buzzing bars, outdoor swimming pools and a romantic teak-clad spa that is reached using the hotel’s liveried boat.   

*Doubles from about $800 per night

Phulay Bay, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve, Krabi

The Ritz-Carlton’s swanky Phulay Bay resort is a top contender especially considering numerous TV shows and movies have already been shot here, including the wedding party scene in The Hangover Part II. 

Its star appeal is partly down to its perfect positioning on Krabi’s Andaman Sea coast, overlooking the luminous green waters and ancient limestone sea stacks of Phang Nga Bay, and partly down to its magical Moorish-Thai design, a veritable palace complex hidden behind high purple stone walls with vast villas, rambling terraces and candlelit water gardens reflecting the area’s rich Muslim history. Suitably dramatic attractions in the area include rock climbing, waterfall treks and kayaking around shadowy mangroves.   

*Doubles from about $630 per night 

Kamalaya, Koh Samui

Madonna, Kate Moss and Oprah Winfrey are among the many A-listers rumoured to have visited this back-to-nature wellness retreat in a bid to find themselves. Wrapped in verdant greenery in a uniquely peaceful location, at the heart of this resort is a Buddhist meditation cave, where monks would come to reflect and philosophise for centuries before Kamalaya arrived. 

Whether you’re a celebrity or a regular wellness seeker, every visit begins with a private consultation with a Life Enhancement Mentor, who creates a bespoke itinerary that might include physiotherapy, acupuncture, energy healing, yoga or life coaching, as well as daily massages and nutrient-packed meals, taken at communal tables in the treetop restaurant. Embracing Change sessions that delve into past traumas, negative habits and relationships can be genuinely life-changing – or could tip the next cast of self-indulgent White Lotus characters over the edge.   

*Doubles from about $380 per night