The location: The Tampa Hotel.

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

    A. A hotel.

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

    A. In Tampa, Florida.

Q. When did we see it on the show?

    A. In Episode 8 (of Season 4), "Road Kill".

    Dexter learns that the Trinity Killer (Arthur Mitchell) is about to embark on another round of
    out-of-town killing, under the guise of going to help a church charity build a home.

    So, posing as a guy named Kyle Butler, Dexter manages to talk Trinity into taking him along on the road trip.

    They wind up at a hotel in Tampa, Florida, where we see the two talking in a hotel room, and where Dexter plans to kill him.

    But Trinity gets the idea of going back to his childhood home to show Dexter the spot where he accidentally killed his sister in the bathroom.

    After that bizarre outing, they stop at a coffee shop at another hotel, so Dexter can take an alibi photo of himself at a weatherman's convention.

    Then it's back to this hotel, where, that night, Dexter prepares a kill room. But when he goes to capture Arthur, he's not in his bed.

    Dexter follows him to the construction site, and discovers him standing on the roof, planning to jump to his death. Dexter stops him.

    On their way back from the hotel, they run into a road block, a DNA checkpoint, but Arthur avoids it by simply U-turning.

Q. What is it actually in real life?

    A. A hotel.  But not in Tampa.

Q. Where can I find it in real life?

    A. This is really the SeaPort Marina Hotel, at 6400 EPacific Coast Highway, in Long Beach, CA.

    That's at the corner of Pacific Coast Highway and 2nd Street, near the Alamitos Bay Marina, and just over the bridge from Naples Island (where they have filmed a number of scenes over the years).

    In the same Episode 8, they also shot the weatherman convention scenes and the hotel coffee shop scenes.

    We saw this hotel before on the show, on a couple of occasions. In the first season, it was the motel where Paul (Rita's ex) stayed. And they used the back exterior of the hotel for the scene where Dexter scattered his father's ashes near a bowling alley.

    At the time, there was talk of tearing down this run-down hotel, but three years later, it's still standing and open for business.

    [ UPDATE: In early 2017, the SeaPort Marina Hotel closed its doors for good. Plans call for the aging hotel to be demolished and replaced with a new upscale shopping/dining center. ]

    I shot the photos below in 2007.

    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 drove past this hotel on August 24, 2009, long before the 4th season started, and noticed that the parking lot was filled with the usual white trucks & trailers signifying a film shoot. And then I spotted the "Dexter" signs posted nearby. So, once the season's new episodes started airing, I just I kept an eye out for the hotel, and spotted it in Episode 8.

    My only question was whether they had also used the hotel for the lobby and coffee shop scenes.  So I checked.  They did.

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