Inside San Domenico Palace: The White Lotus in Taormina
Perched on a rocky promontory high above the Ionian Sea, San Domenico Palace is the setting of The White Lotus, Emmy®-winning series. Located in the beautiful Sicilian town of Taormina, the ancient 14th-century convent has been reimagined to be a place to experience authentic Italian hospitality in a dreamy Mediterranean location.
San Domenico Palace is one of the world’s most renowned hotels and the stunning backdrop of tv series The Black Lotus. With origins dating back to 1374, this classic Dominican convent was expanded in 1896 to become a charming hotel with a stunning liberty style. For more than a century, the Palace has welcomed illustrious guests such as Oscar Wilde, Audrey Hepburn and Sophia Loren and today still preserves its charm being a destination for both luxury and Italian culture.
Framed by the dramatic landscapes of Sicily's east coast, San Domenico Palace offers a magnificent setting overlooking Mount Etna, the Ionian Sea and the Greek theatre. Just off Taormina’s main street, the Corso Umberto, the Palace is an easy walk to the charming shops and restaurants of the old town. This is the perfect home base for exploring eastern Sicily’s most famous attractions, including the historical cities of Modica, Noto and Siracusa, and the tiny, fascinating island of Ortigia.
San Domenico Palace in Taormina is a legendary place. One of the most sought-after destinations by the international elites, the youth of Europe’s polite society who stopped in Taormina during their Grand Tour stayed here, but it was also a favorite with intellectuals and movie stars. Its corridors and façades are the sets of iconic movies, and its charming allure perfectly represents the spirit of The White Lotus series. Opened again in July 2021, San Domenico Palace was entirely renovated, with a stunning restoration work that preserves its historic grace both in the iterior and in the gardens around the property.
The hotel has kept its original structure and the suggestive monastic atmospheres of the ancient convent, with cloisters, frescoes and rooms created from ancient cells. San Domenico Palace is still imbued with its austere identity, with a touch of authentic glamour and luxury. Everywhere in the hotel you can find exquisite details recalling the Sicilian land: the use of Modica stone and Port Laurent marble from Morocco capture the spirit of the local architectural tradition and the meeting between Italian culture and the Arabic influences.
Pale and neutral, the color palette inside the hotel favors a relaxing atmosphere where each detail is studied to express luxury and elegance. Touches of Sicilian tradition are in the décor: in the fume mirrored glasses, in the colorful ceramic pieces and in the antique pieces collected all around the island.
As the ancient convent dates back to the 14th-century, no two rooms are quite the same: ad-hoc furniture was therefore designed and fitted into each room, adapting perfectly to the environment. The materials used are Canaletto walnut, Patagonia marble, bronze-brushed brass and antiqued mirrored glass. The style is sober and elegant, expressing a contemporary aesthetic that is respectful of the past and enhances the specific character of each room, such as the portraits of saints above the doors, chosen by each monk to protect their room. In this beautiful set, the second season of The White Lotus fits perfectly as an ode to Italian beauty, recalling the charm of a glamorous island getaway. Immersed in an idyllic scenery, the anthology series represent Italian luxury at its finest.
The common areas are in the former convent. At its heart is the ancient refectory, now the Museum room, where part of the important collection of paintings once belonging to the convent is on display. Art consultant James Robertson curated the selection of works, dating between the late 16th and the 19th centuries and attributed to painters of the Sicilian or Southern schools. In the majestic hall, the Taormina stone fireplace and the ancient bread trough were both restored along with the original walnut boiserie.
Conviviality is one of the most important values of Italian tradition and at San Domenico Palace the guest can discover a new level of hospitality. The experience is completed by the Michelin-starred Principe Cerami restaurant, where the Etna-born chef presents quintessential Sicilian cuisine showcasing local ingredients and tradition, all enhanced by a superb view of Taormina Bay.
San Domenico Palace
Piazza S. Domenico de Guzman, 5 - 98039 Taormina (ME)
+39 0942 613111
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