Dexter: Is Z Hotel a Real Hotel in Miami?

In the first season of Showtime’s crime series ‘Dexter,’ Rita Bennett, the girlfriend of Dexter Morgan, works at Z Hotel. She looks after her two children without the support of her husband with her job in this opulent establishment. The hotel is featured throughout the installment. The scenes in which Rita learns about the missing partner of her colleague and police officers meet her to talk about the case her husband files against her are set in the building. The name of the hotel resembles Z Ocean Hotel, which is located at the center of Miami Beach’s iconic nightlife. However, the establishment we see in the show is not even in Miami!

The Real Z Hotel is in Fort Lauderdale

Z Hotel does not exist in Miami in real life. The establishment in ‘Dexter’ is The Pillars Hotel & Club, located at 111 North Birch Road in Fort Lauderdale, which is nearly thirty-three miles away from Miami. The hotel is situated on the Intracoastal Waterway of Fort Lauderdale, attracting guests from around the world with its architecture that resembles European boutique inns. Opened around twenty-four years ago, The Pillars receives guests with twenty-four luxury rooms with waterfront and six opulent suites at the Birch House annex. The Secret Garden restaurant and the gourmet dining it offers, in addition to the alfresco waterside fine-dining spots, add to the hotel’s attractions.

The Secret Garden Dining Club (SGDC), which is a part of the hotel, allows the guests to immerse themselves in “wine pairing dinners, international cuisine nights, and cocktail hours,” as per the establishment. The aforementioned Birch House is a retreat spot for tourists visiting Fort Lauderdale’s central beach region. Its resemblance to British Colonial grand houses is only one of several attractions of the establishments, which also includes “four majestic columns, an architectural privacy wall, tall hedges, lush tropical gardens, and a sparkling swimming pool.” The Pillars is an acclaimed hotel. It was recognized by Condé Nast Johansens Awards for Excellence multiple times, either as a winner or finalist.

Even though the first season of ‘Dexter’ was mainly filmed in Miami and Los Angeles County in California, the production team utilized a few locations in Fort Lauderdale as well. The scene in which Tony Tucci’s hand is discovered was shot at the north of South Beach Park with Illini Condo in the background. The sequences in which Dexter promises to find the partner of Rita’s colleague were filmed at Las Olas Riverfront, a major east-west thoroughfare in Fort Lauderdale.

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