Dexter Filming Locations: The 7 Seas Motel


The location: Rita's Z 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 Miami, Florida.

Q. When did we see it on the show?

    A. Fairly often, starting in the Season One.

    Rita worked at the Z Hotel, and we first see it in Episode 5 of Season One, "Love American Style",
    when Rita is comforting her Cuban housekeeper, Elena.

    Elena's husband is being held for ransom by a murderous alien smuggler.

    Rita tells Dexter, and he tracks down and kills the smuggler - (and his wife).

    The hotel shown was a low profile, pale gold & white resort, with a somewhat colonial look, and right on the water.

    This was the only time they showed the exterior & grounds of the hotel.

    When the Z Hotel was occasionally shown in future episodes, it was usually limited to interior shots, such as Rita at the hotel desk, which were most likely just filmed on a set at Sunset-Gower studios (and/or, perhaps, at some L.A. hotel).

    The last time we see the Z Hotel is in Episode 4 of Season 3 ("All in the Family"), when Rita is fired from the hotel job for insulting a rude customer.

Q. What is it actually in real life?

    A. An actual hotel.

Q. Where can I find it in real life?

    A. Unlike most of Dexter's locations, this hotel actually is in Florida.

     (They did a lot of Florida location shooting for the first few episodes, then moved filming almost exclusively to L.A.)

    Ironically, there really is a hotel named the "Z Hotel" in Miami (as a fan, Sara, pointed out), but they didn't film there.

    Instead, those first season scenes were shot up in Fort Lauderdale, at The Pillars at New River Sound hotel, at 111 N. Birch Road, Fort Lauderdale, Florida. (That's about 20 miles north of Dexter's apartment.

    It's a small luxury hotel (with just 22 rooms), situated on Florida's Intracoastal Waterway. It actually began life in 1939 as a private estate, and was converted to a bed & breakfast in 1948, and became The Pillars hotel in 1999.

    (The hotel has its own website, at

    Although most of Dexter's Florida filming was done in the Miami area, they did go to Fort Lauderdale this once, to film this hotel and the scenes of the hand on the beach, the gazebo restaurant, and a tourist beach where a body washes up.

    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. This was one of the few Miami locations I just couldn't seem to find.

    But in 2010, a fan, Geoff, tracked it down and let me know where it was.  (Thanks, Geoff!)

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