Mary-Kate and Ashley, Peanut Butter and Jelly, Sunday and Spooky: Some things go together.
While many were watching HBO “The White Lotus” and Four Seasons as a similar pairing, some eagle-eyed readers pointed to TPG as a sign that fictional hotel chain White Lotus might be switching to a different brand for its third season. will take place in Thailand.
While most outlets (this one included) assumed that one of the four Four Seasons properties in Thailand was a shoo-in for next season, several readers have since pointed out that bookings at Amanpuri – a Aman complex in Phuket – are blocked. from June to August.
TPG confirmed the closing dates with Aman’s reservation system and noted that those same dates indicate availability at each of the Four Seasons properties in Thailand.
The first season of “The White Lotus” was shot in Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea during lockdown in 2020 as the resort remained closed to guests. The second season, shot at Palazzo San Domenico in Taormina, a Four Seasons hotel in Sicily, began filming as the resort was closed for the offseason in early 2022.
So, Amanpuri’s three-month downtime might be the best clue as to where the third season is headed.
A spokesperson for Aman declined to comment on why the hotel was closed to reservations for three months, and representatives for HBO and Four Seasons did not respond in time for publication.
But sources in the hospitality industry were led to believe that the Four Seasons-HBO marriage wasn’t necessarily a lock until the third season of “The White Lotus.”
Several properties from various hotel companies were vying to be the new host hotel – the hospitality industry’s equivalent of the Summer Olympics landing. Who can blame them?
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Streamed movies and TV shows are now the top travel inspiration – surpassing social media posts and tied with recommendations from family and friends, according to a report from last year. ‘ExpediaGroup.
“Hotels are very ‘sexy’ places for movies, TV shows and books that feature twists and turns and excitement. The “Hotel” TV series ran for five years in the 80s and was based on a novel. the ‘St. Gregory Hotel ‘was actually the Fairmont San Francisco,’ said Leora Lanz, associate dean of academic affairs at Boston University’s School of Hospitality Administration. “Although not a hotel, look what ‘The Love Boat’ series has done for Princess (Cruises). There is definitely a parallel here.
Don’t expect Aman to change course and wonder if “The White Lotus” is filming on the Phuket property. Discretion is in its brand DNA.
The brand is known for its hyper-attentive service, ultra-luxurious accommodations and seclusion. There’s even a term for avid followers of the brand: Aman junkies.
So if you ever stay at an Aman (expect to shell out more than a few thousand dollars a night for even the brand’s cheapest hotel rooms in New York) and see a Kardashian walking by, don’t don’t say hello.
You don’t stay at one of these hotels to hang out with strangers at the bar, which could put an interesting twist on a new season of “The White Lotus.”
How the Four Seasons Agreement Was Born
Details are limited as to how Four Seasons agreed to be the initial replacement brand for the fictional White Lotus chain.
Show Creator Mike White previously said in an interview with journalist Katie Couric, HBO approached him to write a show that could film entirely in a bubble-like setting due to coronavirus safety precautions. Thus, the idea of filming in a luxury resort was born.
While HBO initially pushed back filming in Hawaii, the eventual deal with Four Seasons provided business for a hotel that was otherwise closed due to the lockdown. The first season was a success, and the franchise grew to include the second Four Seasons resort in Sicily.
It’s a risk that appears to have paid off: In the United States, more than two-thirds of American travelers plan to visit a destination after seeing it in a streaming movie or TV show, according to Expedia. Sixty-one percent actually booked a trip, which might explain why rates are higher than high at the two Four Seasons properties featured in “The White Lotus.”
But it’s not always guaranteed that brands are ready to play ball.
Singapore Airlines reportedly refused participate in “Crazy Rich Asians”, while the The Metropolitan Museum of Art didn’t want to do anything with the 1999 reboot of “The Thomas Crown Affair,” which depicted an art theft from a New York museum. The Met seemed to change its tune by allowing “Oceans 8” to show a jewelry heist at the museum during the Met Gala.
On the other hand, some travel branding appearances might have you scratching your head: Delta Air Lines signage features prominently in some of “Contagion’s” opening scenes.
More hotels on the big screen
Analysts expect more targeted brand tie-ins to be featured prominently in future movies and TV shows.
The current season of “Succession” included an episode with the Juvet Landscape Hotel in Valldal, Norway (spoiler alert!) as the backdrop for heated negotiations between the Roy family and a potential buyer of their business. Interest in the hotel increased this week after last week’s episode.
“These kind of media crossovers have been very successful,” said Richard Clarke, managing director who covers the hospitality industry at Bernstein. “One of the biggest successes was ‘Formula 1: Drive to Survive’, the Formula 1 documentary on Netflix, which massively increased interest in Formula 1 in the United States, where it never been particularly popular.”
THE Park Hyatt Tokyo rose to popularity after his big-screen appearance in the 2003 film “Lost in Translation” starring Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson. Scenes depicted the duo frequently socializing in the hotel’s New York Bar overlooking Tokyo. The hotel is expected to close for major renovations later this year. Even hotels that steal the scene sometimes need a touch-up.
Clarke also points to how real estate agents use media ties to sell expensive homes like the $29 million apartment in New York used as a fictional home for Kendall Roy in “Succession”.
“We’ll probably see more media generation to support particular properties,” he added. “You’ll see more of this kind of guerrilla media where people look at the connection between Four Seasons (and) ‘White Lotus’ and say, ‘Oh, actually, that’s where we want to stay.
This is great news for hospitality companies that manage to land the coveted spot on a hit TV show or movie.
But be prepared to save if you ever plan to stay at one of these hotels.
“I imagine the San Domenico Palace will do very well in terms of occupancy and rates this summer, an expected result of traveler demand with some residual help from the notoriety it received from the show,” Lanz said. . “How many of us are trying to guess which hotel will be the location for Season 3? It’s a fun pop icon and cult favorite, and it’s great to have such fun distractions from the real world.”
She then added (spoiler alert!): “We only wish that Jennifer Coolidge could come back.”