The location: Paul Bennett's Motel.

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

    A. A motel or apartment house.

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

    A. In Miami, Florida.

Q. When did we see it on the show?

    A. In Episode 10 (of Season 1), "Seeing Red".

    Paul (Rita's abusive ex-husband) has become such a problem that Dexter is looking for a way to justify killing him (based on "Harry's code").

    So he breaks into Paul's apartment, looking for proof that Paul deserves to be killed .

    Dexter finds a gun in Paul's room, and almost talks himself into it, but eventually realizes that, while Paul may be a jerk, he doesn't deserve to be slaughtered.

    So, instead, Dexter knocks him out, plants heroin on him, and gets him sent back to prison on a parole violation (something that comes back to haunt Dexter later).

    [ 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. ]

Q. What is it actually in real life?

    A. A hotel, but not in Miami.

Q. Where can I find it in real life?

    A. It's known as the Seaport Marina Hotel, and is located at 6400 Pacific Coast Highway, in Long Beach, CA.

    It's at the corner of Pacific Coast Highway & Second Street, about a mile northeast of the Naples/Belmont Shore area, and about a mile northwest of the Seal Beach (Orange County) border.

    It's a particularly large motel, shaped in an usual double-S pattern. The scene appears to have been shot at the southeastern end of those two-level buildings. (The camera is looking southeast as Dexter walks towards the room.)

    Here is a map link. And here is an aerial photo from Live Local..

    I shot the two photos below of the hotel in 2007

    [ Warning: These are private rooms.  Do not knock on their doors,
    trespass on their property, or do anything else that might disturb the residents. ]

    Elvis Presley stayed at this motel back in 1972, back when the hotel was known as the Edgewater Hyatt House, and Elvis was performing two concerts at the Long Beach Arena.

    ( In 2007, the same hotel was seen in the hit TV series, "The O.C.", where it appeared as the motel where Volchok was finally arrested. )

    The very same hotel was used in the previous episode of "Dexter" as the "bowling alley", where Dexter dumps his father's ashes. (But they used a completely different part of the hotel.)

Update: In late 2017, the Seaport Marina was torn down, to make way for a major project.
Here is a short video of the hotel being torn down:

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

    A. I had already scouted the Seaport Marina Hotel when I was tracking down filming locations for "The O.C.", and had gone there to shoot photos for those OC pages. When I saw it again on "Dexter", I simply recognized it.

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