Where Should The White Lotus Season Three Be Set? We’ve Got Ideas

With season two of The White Lotus barely even at its halfway point, HBO has once again offered series writer-director Mike White a huge vote of confidence. A third season of The White Lotus is officially coming, “following a new group of guests at another White Lotus property.” That’s as vague as what they told us when they first announced season two— it wasn’t until much later that Jennifer Coolidge was confirmed to be reprising her role as Tanya, making the only connective tissue between the two seasons. 

So, don’t fret— Coolidge could very well be back for season three, or so could one of this season’s new characters (personally, we’d follow Meghann Fahy’s Daphne anywhere). But it’s still a world of possibilities for where the new season will take us, and which group of horrible rich people we’ll meet there. So Vanity Fair has as few suggestions. Mike White, if you pick any of our ideas, please just save us a spot at the hotel pool. 

And remember: if you can’t get enough White Lotus, subscribe to our Still Watching podcast, where every week Richard Lawson and Chris Murphy  break down the latest intrigue and scandal in Sicily. 

White Lotus: Gstaad, Switzerland

We’ve had a lot of fun in the sun on The White Lotus up until now, but I think for season three it’s time to zip on our sexiest ski suits and hit the bunny slopes— and a trip to some fabulous, psychotically expensive ski haven, like GStaad in Switzerland, could be absolutely divine. Think about it: High fashion winter wear! Apres ski! Sexy, snow-y jacuzzi rendezvouses! And as for a murder mystery, there are so simply too ways to die on a ski trip, either on the slopes or in the hotel. Crossing my fingers Tanya makes it to the end of this season so she can push Greg off a chairlift. It’s about time for The White Lotus to take on a Black Diamond. Chris Murphy\

White Lotus: Tulum

At the Yucatán Peninsula’s new $2,000-a-night boho boutique hotel, a gaggle of Instagrammers, Angeleno hardbodies, and one frazzled Beltway couple on the brink of divorce assemble for an exclusive yoga retreat. For Ainsley Novak, a young attendee dreaming of a Vita Coco sponsorship to call her own, it’s all fun and golden-hour shots until the arrival of her childhood frenemy, the far more successful @downwarddaria. Just as the two women’s war of influence threatens to disrupt the retreat’s overall chi, a group of European DJs check in next door. Havoc and panama hats ensue. The wrong drugs fall into hapless hands; someone has an out-of-body experience communing with a choking sea turtle. Each lingering shot of curiously blood-red smoothie bowls and Mayan ruins B-roll serves to caution us against the excesses of human ambition. The theme music: guttural, pounding EDM that never quite gets turned down. — Delia Cai

White Lotus: German Sanatorium

Everyone at the secluded Silberholz—a newfangled sanatorium in a German lake town—is in need of rehabilitation. That is what the slick marketing materials promise: sterile modernist architecture reminiscent of the tuberculosis era, offset by stands of silver birch. Presiding over the protocols are a husband-and-wife duo. The eerily expressionless Dr. Schulz is the on-site dermatologist overseeing aesthetic tune-ups, his white-coat exactitude concealing his after-hours kink; his partner is a Marina Abramović acolyte turned wellness manager. An unlikely roster of guests is lined up for pea soup and lymphatic drainage. A megachurch pop sensation, who exposed himself on Instagram Live during a bender, is there with his parasitic momager. An L.A. producer, outrunning an intern scandal, is laying low with his influencer girlfriend and his teen daughter from a previous marriage. A self-important tech gonzo has brought his college-era cofounders, following a nervous breakdown precipitated by a failed rocket launch and ironic impotence. And a neurotic New Yorker is there observing all—researching a book on the history of sanatoriums, based on an idea she poached from a rival’s tweet—while she strings along her deep-pocketed fiancé in absentia. Let the healing begin. Laura Regensdorf

White Lotus: Mediterranean

The thing about “prestige TV” is that while it’s wildly gripping (Undone owned my life for many weeks), it is universally one-note. Satirizing white privilege as The White Lotus has done is never not funny and it’s never not needed, but the cruel joke about that is that it continues to center whiteness. It still creates enormous space for white interiority to play out onscreen and off. And again, that’s fine, but the show doesn’t solve the issue it feels as if it’s above. I mean, yes, Jennifer Coolidge is that girl and she should get all the flowers—but vehicles like this unconsciously (?) reify those same disparities they poke fun at. That’s why when Paula says, “She’s my friend, as long as she has more of everything than I do,” it hit me directly in my solar plexus, because it could so easily be a read on the show as it is Olivia’s character.

So next season I would personally love to see an all-Black cast cruising along the Mediterranean or staying at a villa in Greece, with Angela Bassett or Viola Davis besting them all as a “Marjorie Harvey” matriarch figure. It’s a mixed couples retreat of all college friends and their spouses who met at an Ivy League college where they were the only Black students in attendance. Forty years later, discoveries and secrets are revealed around fidelity, business dealings, betrayal, paternity, and respectability politics. All the drama comes to a peak at the obligatory all-white party, where the cast dresses in all-white linen. Think: a Boule or Links conference on water. Someone asked me on Twitter how an all-Black cast could be done if Mike White is the sole writer: How could he encapsulate the Black elite? Well, I’ll be bold and say, I’m available to help. — Marjon Carlos

White Lotus: Iceland

After kicking back on the Hawaiian sands and the shores of the Ionian Sea, it seems high time to cozy up somewhere as frigid as that person you didn’t want to invite. At this White Lotus, perfectly nestled in a lava field on the southwestern tip of Iceland, five friends are reuniting for the first time since graduating from Princeton ten years ago. But Emmett, who’s married to Addie, has no idea just how close his wife once was with his cousin, Clara Rose. And Sebastian, a political wunderkind, has a crisis awaiting him at home. Meanwhile, Nolan is convinced that his friends are harboring a secret—and this vacation may be his best chance to figure out, once and for all, what it is. But they aren’t the only guests who will be enjoying the geothermal spas and glacial excursions. When a blizzard strikes, will a party be sent out in search of Duke and Maika, celebrating their fifth anniversary and a surprising inheritance? Or Tag, an ex-senator hoping to bond with the daughters he disowned on the campaign trail? Regardless, there’s never been a better time to sit beside the fireplace and wait for the storm to pass. —Tyler Breitfeller

White Lotus: French Riviera

After the calamitous Cannes premiere of his latest film—boos from a raucous audience, scathing reviews from every major outlet except a sleazy Hollywood gossip rag that was paid for its rave—film producer Max Tartt travels to the dazzlingly luxe Hotel d’Azur (modeled after the famed Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc in Antibes, France) to meet up with his husband, dilettantish interior designer Gabriel Grant. Meanwhile, socialite Dez Mercer has booked a suite for a wild 25th-birthday bacchanal, bringing her long-suffering assistant/supposed best friend, Maya Lee, to oversee the event planning and Dez’s bored, pill-zonked, and maybe closeted boyfriend, Chance Blake-Wright, himself a scenester from a mega-rich family of industry forever in the crosshairs of progressive activists. The two parties—one licking wounds, the other celebrating their relative youth—disastrously converge, while terribly mistreating the hotel’s VIP concierge, Ahmed Hammami, who shares a secret with Gabriel. There is also the matter of the grand doyenne Pippy Brandtcourt, an imperious Democratic donor and staple of the hotel whose latest husband goes mysteriously missing. Money, ego, sex, class, and race once again clash, this time against the stunning backdrop of the ridiculously rich South of France. — Richard Lawson

White Lotus: Myrtle Beach

Set at a luxurious fictional resort, the Myrtle Beach season begins as yet another group of well-heeled travelers arrive for their vacation…only to find that they’ve managed to overlap with Bike Week, a notoriously noisy and raucous annual event. Most of the bikers are staying next door, but a few of the more flush ones are staying here at the Golden Palmetto, and our antiheroes—a pair of Charleston–based oncologists, the chief of staff to South Carolina’s Republican governor, and a group of retirees old enough to remember the Shag glory days—want to make it clear that they’re not welcome. So who’s more disruptive—the loud biker gang, or the millionaires eager to Make Myrtle Beach Great Again? — Katey Rich

White Lotus: Bar Harbor

The fictional White Lotus resort may have been deemed the most romantic hotel in Hawaii by Condé Nast Traveler, but it’s Maine’s the Blue Lobster Inn that wins the title of “New England’s best wedding destination.” This season’s story centers on bride and groom Walker and Audrey on their doomed wedding weekend. Unlike Shane and Rachel, we love Walker and Audrey. We want them to have their happily ever after. The problem is, someone at their Bar Harbor nuptials would kill to see their relationship go up in flames. Is it Audrey’s sister, who’s had a crush on Walker since childhood? Walker’s ex-girlfriend turned movie star, who regrets leaving her leading man? Or is it the high-strung, pill-popping wedding planner who has just. had. enough? I don’t know—I haven’t put more than five minutes’ thought into this, but I would definitely watch this show. But only if White Lotus composer Cristobal Tapia de Veer does the score, because otherwise what’s the point? — Kelly Butler

White Lotus: Pacific Northwest

Haven’t we all had enough of crystalline blue waters and postcard-worthy beach landscapes already? It’s time for White Lotus to head to Oregon, where the oysters are amazing, the crab legs are enormous, you are literally always damp, and you go to the beach to get pneumonia, not a tan. Tech billionaires can brag about how “unplugged” they are and put their GoreTex outerwear to the test. The pampered son of a fashion designer can insist on sleeping in the van, while his father finds inspiration for his next collection in a pinecone. The landscapes are beautiful, and the area has beaches, snow, mountains, deserts, and big ol’ fields full of cows and ghostly dilapidated shacks, so there are options aplenty. There are also endless opportunities for death, either accidental or nefariously planned. Is that berry safe to eat? Maybe it’s time we find out. —Kase Wickman

Loto Bianco: Stagione Due

Somewhere between the BTDT cliffs of Porto Ercole and the three-star sands of Ischia frolic Karen, Kerrin, Korinne, and Sarah—who may or may not evoke Ivana Trump, Wendi Deng Murdoch, Marla Maples, and Jerry Hall. They’re a motley Ordinal Wives Club, a sorority congealed after different-but-same divorces from two media barons, one American and the other of vague Commonwealth origin. Their yacht, borrowed from an oligarch’s presciently sympathetic fourth wife, is jockeying for one of the few super-sized berths with another obscene vessel, this one hosting an indie director and her boy-band boyfriend who are vacationing with the husband of a European princess—senza principessa—and a perpetually bethonged spokeswoman for the sherry brand in which he has a nominal (and we do mean in-name-only) stake. On terra firma, we have the fabled Hotel Il Granchio, where the boatless poors languish under orange cabanas (Gray Malin did the opening credits!) and negronis everlasting. Weaving his way between the teak loungers and costiera landscaping: Dwayne, the upstart umbrella dispenser from St. Louis. Everyone, grab your binoculars: Who will veni vidi vici?Claire Howorth

White Lotus: Santa Fe

Southern New Mexico is now the favored locale for billionaires looking to build a spaceport, and the Bransons and Bezoses of the world need somewhere to go to recover from their five minutes in space. Santa Fe could be the perfect place for the White Lotus experience, if you swap out the coastlines for sandy vistas and hot springs, and augment the spa treatments with some spiritual appropriation. The season could focus on the burgeoning tensions between the 1 percent and the 0.1 percent, include some art-world intrigue—maybe a heist—and figure out why all the new space shuttles look so phallic. Erin Vanderhoof

Camp White Lotus

Tired of watching the foibles of terrible rich people on vacation? So is The White Lotus—which is why the show’s 10th season will shift focus entirely to their terrible children, who spend summers horseback riding, waterskiing, bouldering, putting on elaborate productions of Dear Evan Hansen, and perfecting their backhands (tennis strokes and compliments) at the White Lotus Organization’s tony Jackson Hole summer camp. We’ll focus on the denizens of Bunk 13, a group of female-identifying and nonbinary 12-year-olds (a TikTok star, a budding beauty entrepreneur, a Republican senator’s daughter, a rebellious burnout who’s secretly the wealthiest one of all) as they navigate ever-shifting alliances, first kisses, color wars, misguided kiddie antiracism seminars, and the dark possibility that they may already be turning into their parents. Hillary Busis

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