Dexter Filming Locations: The Reef Hotel


The location: The Reef Hotel.

Q. What is it supposed to be on the show?

    A. The Reef Hotel.

Q. Where is it supposed to be on the show?

    A. Near the water, in Miami.

Q. When did we see it on the show?

    A. In Episode 2 (of Season 4), "Remains To Be Seen ":

    Dexter and his police co-workers are called out to a crime scene at a waterside hotel. The so-called "Vacation Murderers" (a pair of robbers who kill their tourist victims first, and then take their valuables) have struck again, leaving a man dead on the floor of his hotel room. He was shot in the back of the head as he entered his room, and his wallet & other valuables were taken.

    While there, the female reporter whom Quinn is sleeping with shows up, pushes her way past the police barriers, and tries to get the story details from Quinn, drawing the unwanted attention of LaGuerta.

    But Quinn's problems at the hotel don't stop there. While gathering the victim's last belongings
    from the hotel safe, Quinn comes across a large amount of cash and can't resist sticking half of the money into his pocket.

    Unfortunately for him, Dexter sees him do it. And Quinn knows it. Dexter assures him that he doesn't care if he's a "dirty cop", angering Quinn and making him worry that Dexter might use the info against him.

    Meanwhile, Dexter discovers blood on a cactus needle just outside the hotel room, which he believes may well contain the DNA of the "Vacation Murderer". (Later, he links the blood to Johnny Rose and his girlfriend Nikki, which leads to a shoot-out at their apartment.).

Q. What is it actually in real life?

    A. A waterside hotel.  Just not in Miami.

Q. Where can I find it in real life?

    A. This is the Marina Del Rey Hotel, at 13534 Bali Way, in Marina del Rey, CA.

    It's the same hotel where they earlier filmed the infamous "room full of blood" scene, back in the show's first season. And it's the same place they used for Lundy's Hotel in this 4th season.

    But while they used the front of the hotel for the Lundy scenes, they used the back (west) side of the hotel for most of these shots.

    When we first see Dexter walking to the scene, he is walking south along the narrow road that runs along the west side of the hotel, between the back of the hotel and the marina's main channel.

    They used another part of the same hotel (the round, southeast end) for the pharmacy scene.

    It's about a mile west of Zoey Kruger's home.

    They shot the scenes of Trinity stalking his second victim at a shopping/dining area not far from the hotel.

    And in previous seasons, they've shot a lot in Marina Del Rey, including Dexter & Rita's wedding, Miguel Prado's hotel, the boating store, Lila's diner, and the Narcotic Anonymous meeting.

    I shot the photos below in November 2009.  The camera is looking north/northeast up the road behind the hotel.

    Here is an aerial photo of the hotel. And here is a map link.

Q. How the heck did you figure out where it was?

    A.  I knew immediately that it was Marina Del Rey.  I've been there often, and those three round condo towers in the background are always a dead giveaway. The only chore was to determine exactly where in the marina. By pinning down several landmarks seen in the background, it was just a matter of triangulating the location, which pointed straight to the back of the Marina Del Rey hotel.

    Later, of course, I went there in person to make sure, and to shoot the photos you see above..

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