Hotel Cocaine: All Locations Where the Show is Filmed

Dazzling disco parties, sprawling beachside resorts, and underworld dealings, ‘Hotel Cocaine’ transports us to Hotel Mutiny in 1970s Miami and follows its affable general manager, Roman Compte. His diverse clientele includes celebrities, smugglers, mobsters, and bureau agents, who forget their rivalries on the club’s psychedelic dance floor. A Cuban exile, Compte’s past catches up with him when his gang leader brother resurfaces in Miami, and the CIA recruits Compte to spy on his drug trade. With the CIA threatening his arrest and his brother threatening everything he has built, Compte is torn in his allegiances.

The MGM+ crime thriller series explores a city reveling in excess, where the glamorous party venues often hide blood-soaked drug trails reaching their destinations. It immerses us in a bygone era with a vibrant color palette, costumes, and a chaotic backdrop of drug trade that reflects the political realities of the time.

Hotel Cocaine Filming Locations

‘Hotel Cocaine’ is filmed in various locations in the Dominican Republic, which stands in for 1970s Miami. Filming was carried out on location in Santo Domingo and at a studio in Juan Dolio. Principal photography began in early January 2024 and was wrapped up for the first season by the end of March of the same year. The cast and crew seemed to have had plenty of parties themselves as they completed production of the first season, with everyone in high spirits.

When asked about the choice of shooting location, acclaimed director Guillermo Navarro revealed that they had initially gone to scout Colombia as a prospective filming destination before settling on the Dominican Republic. “The Dominican Republic offered a wealth of locations that perfectly captured the vibe of 1970s Miami,” explained Navarro in an interview. Additionally, the country boasts a well-established studio infrastructure and a crucial water tank set-up for some of our key filming sequences.”

Juan Dolio, Dominican Republic

The water tank mentioned by the director, along with many of the soundstages employed by the production, are a part of Lantica Studios, a movie studio situated in the seaside community of Juan Dolio. A few miles east of the capital city of Santo Domingo, Juan Dolio is a picturesque coastal town that is perfect for a tranquil beach escape with charming local architecture and an authentic Caribbean vibe. Located at Autovía del Este KM. 55, Lantica Studios was previously known as Pinewood Dominican Republic Studios before the company withdrew from its management on 31 March 2024.

The studio is a major filming location for much of ‘Hotel Cocaine.’ Its cutting-edge facilities are highlighted by its massive horizon water tank, one of the largest in the world. This facility is perfect for filming water-based scenes, which are a regular part of major productions lensed in its coastal location. Many of the glamorous interiors seen in ‘Hotel Cocaine’ are created using soundstages in the studio, with its facilities contributing to the show’s action and stunt scenes.

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

The scenic capital city of the Dominican Republic is the primary filming location for much of the show’s hotel exterior and beach scenes. The city became a filming destination as it resembled ‘70s Miami the most, as the actual Florida city has modernized far too much to reasonably portray its past self. Hotel Mutiny, around which most of the plot revolves, is an actual Miami hotel that is not used in the production since it has been renovated beyond its past aesthetic. Nightclub Mutiny was attached to the hotel and served as a prime attraction in its time, inspiring ‘Scarface’ However, it has closed down since.

The production team meticulously recreated Miami’s bygone era with a kaleidoscopic color palette and costumes. Additionally, the filming infrastructure and support utilized by the crew are on par with TV productions in Hollywood, with camera teams using high-quality RED cameras equipped with French Angénieux lenses. Additionally, the inclusion of an ethnically diverse cast and crew played into the intended depiction of Hotel Mutiny and Miami at large as a cultural hub. The team often had over 150 extras on set along with dedicated backup dancers to simulate Hotel Mutiny as the epicenter of the city’s revelry.

After the completion of filming for the first season, the production team was thankful for the services and experiences they had in the Dominican Republic. “Filming in the Dominican Republic proved invaluable,” said Navarro in the aforementioned interview. “Our crew was a polyglot mix, seamlessly communicating in both English and Spanish, mirroring the show’s cultural milieu. This multilingual environment perfectly captured the essence of the era we were depicting.” Furthermore, the Dominican Republic has a rebate program that suits ‘Hotel Cocaine,’ providing them with tax incentives while allowing them to call in crew members from outside the country.

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