‘The White Lotus,’ ‘The Resort’ & More Hotel-Set TV Shows to Watch

The Resort, The White Lotus, Room 104
Peacock; Mario Perez/HBO; Tyler Golden/HBO

Often series are set within the compound of the characters’ familiar space (their home), while other times we follow them through transitional spaces or even see them move to an entirely different place where they know basically no one.

But occasionally an entire show is set within the world of a getaway. These getaways often don’t pan out as planned. That can be because of the horrendous state of the place they are staying, but more often than not, it has to do with the people that are there. Take, for example, The Resort, currently dropping new episodes on Peacock on Thursdays or The White Lotus, returning for a second season this fall on HBO.

So, whether these shows are transporting you to a better place, keeping you intrigued with a mystery or two, or even allowing you to take a breath and laugh, take a pause and scroll down for the shows set in a resort or similar location to be entertained right from the comfort of your own couch.

Mario Perez/HBO

The White Lotus

The White Lotus might seem like the perfect place. Luxurious rooms, private beaches, a spa, a couple of restaurants, and the many amenities for the guests are just a few examples of the riches shown. But the people staying there are less than ideal. Instead, they are privileged-to-no-end, arrogant, and just down-right bad people. Take, for example, from Season 1, the dysfunctional family led by CFO Nicole Mossbacher (Connie Britton), the dramatic but grieving Tanya McQuoid (Jennifer Coolidge) who misleads resort employee Belinda (Natasha Rothwell), and a newlywed couple already going through some challenges on their honeymoon.

Yet, through The White Lotus’ satirical lens, viewers at home are able to make fun of the rich people while still being intrigued with drama-infused humor. Quite clearly, the HBO series achieved what it set out to do, as it became insanely popular with its great setting and storyline that exposes the theatrics of the insanely privileged.

Touchstone Television

The Golden Palace

Although this Golden Girls spinoff only lasted for one season, it still left a permanent impression on the TV landscape. It starts off right as the women have sold their Miami house and decide to invest in a hotel. What they don’t realize though, is that most of the employees left, so now they have to go back into the workforce to get a return on their investment.

The Golden Palace‘s humor is reminiscent of the original series, as they are once again spicing up their lives with frivolous gossip and wacky gestures that always ensure bizarre moments. Sadly, Bea Arthur’s character Dorothy is not as involved this time around — she married and left the other three remaining housemates in the original series — but she does appear as a guest star, so, look out for that!

Prashant Gupta/FX

American Horror Story: Hotel

Hotel Cortez might suck you in and never let you go, but at least you will exist forever in its sphere. Sure, the other characters you’d be stuck there with are rather unpleasant, but it’s important to note that it won’t ever be dull. So, it’s one of the more interesting places you can end up at, because each day you’ll unravel a new secret or two. Whether you truly want to stay there isn’t your choice, so why not just get completely entrenched in a world that is still stuck in the 1920s?

The most camp installment of the American Horror Story franchise was definitely Hotel’s season, and it will also forever be known as the reason Lady Gaga won her first Golden Globe, for her portrayal as The Countess. Plus, it’s inspired by the real Cecil Hotel, giving an even eerier feel to what is already seen to be a creepy place.

BBC

Fawlty Towers

Although the English Riviera might not be the most glamorous setting for a show about a hotel or a resort, that makes Fawlty Towers — often called one of the UK’s best sitcoms, though consisting of only 12 episodes over two seasons — all the funnier.

Fawlty Towers is the oldest addition to this list, but it might also be the most iconic one. The main characters are caricatures of how some people act in real life. If the cynical nature and misanthrope ways of hotel manager Basil Fawlty (John Cleese) aren’t sadly relatable enough, his absolute need to belong to a higher class will do the trick. This, in contrast to the other employees and his wife Sybil (Prunella Scales), allows you to truly envision the life of a person who is miserable by default, yet in a humorous way.

Peacock

The Resort

What starts off as a vacation to celebrate Noah (William Jackson Harper) and Emma’s (Cristin Milioti) 10th wedding anniversary quickly becomes about the unravelling of a mystery from years prior. The Resort’s two main timelines switch around, as things become clearer about what happened in 2007 and when everything is finally revealed in 2022. Both are set in resorts just mere miles away from each other, with the one from 2007 closed after a hurricane destroyed it.

Although The Resort doesn’t necessarily use its setting as a romantic background, it does an amazing job at explaining the underlying existential dread and eeriness underneath these so-called perfect vacation spots. It makes the Peacock series the perfect dark comedy with just a touch of social commentary.

HBO

Room 104

Roadside motels have frequently been used in popular media as the prime location for an eerie setting, and this is exactly what Room 104 taps into. Every episode takes place in the same room, with different guests, allowing the stories to focus on extremely different plots, from horror to comedy and more. They never truly leave the motel, making it easy for viewers to focus on only the information given rather than their lives beyond those walls. And although Room 104 might not be the most lavish of places, the room definitely has some stories to tell.

Vince Valitutti/Hulu

Nine Perfect Strangers

Nine Perfect Strangers was based on a book by Liane Moriarty, the same author who wrote Big Little Lies. It, too, goes into the dystopian world of the upper-class and once again sets the scene in California instead of the great Sydney area. But unlike Big Little Lies, Nine Perfect Strangers sees its main characters traveling to some sort of luxurious wellness/detox center. Although the characters have next to nothing in common, they’re all at the pricey 10-day retreat. Yet nothing is as it seems, as the wellness resort is more complicated than what at first appears to be heaven-on-earth.