Despite Being Rooted In Miami, ‘Hotel Cocaine’ Was Not Filmed There

By Louie Fecou
Published: June 18, 2024 (Last updated: 4 weeks ago)
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The Filming Locations of Hotel Cocaine
Hotel Cocaine | Image via MGM+

Hotel Cocaine tells the partially true story of Roman Compte and the Mutiny Hotel and has its roots firmly in the cocaine scene in Miami in the late 7os and early 80s. The show embraces its setting and time period, though it was filmed primarily in the Dominican Republic rather than Miami itself, which has changed enough in the intervening years that trying to recapture its old vibe would have been impossible.

Filming Locations and Shooting Details

To capture the look, feel, and style required to bring authenticity to Hotel Cocaine, the crew would film primarily in the Dominican Republic, making the most of the weather and vibe for the series.

One of the show’s stars, Michael Chiklis, revealed in an interview on Good Morning America that the show was filmed in the Dominican Republic, as Miami is such a “built-up place” now that they simply could not film it there.

An article with Rotten Tomatoes TV with showrunner Chris Brancato would reveal that “the set was located on the Southeast coast of the DR, where our journey dead-ended down a sandy path at a “Secluded beach nearby Pinewood tank,” as the set was labeled on the call sheet.”

Interiors were filmed at Pinewood Studios in the Dominican Republic, creating a set infused with gaudy neon, and piles of cocaine, that was actually powdered milk, on the table tops. After a hard day on the set, the cast and crew would kick back at the Hotel Casa Hemingway in Juan Dolio.

Production Timeline

Hotel Cocaine started filming in May of 2023 and would wrap up in March 2024. An article in Deadline in March 2023 confirmed this start date.

Showrunner Chris Brancato would reveal some details about the production, and would state in an interview: “And so, we finished filming in early March. We’re editing now, and we’ll be out in June. It’s been a great experience”.

A first-look trailer for the show would appear in April 2024, and the release date was June 16th, 2024.

Who directed Hotel Cocaine?

The eight-episode series would be divided between three directors. Guillermo Navarro would handle four episodes, Sara Seligman would take another two, and the final episodes would go to Fernando Rovzar.

Guillermo Navarro is a much-celebrated cinematographer and you will be familiar with his stunning work on productions such as Pan’s Labyrinth, Pacific Rim, Cronos and I Am Number Four. 

Who created Hotel Cocaine?

Hotel Cocaine was the brainchild of Chris Brancato, and if the name sounds familiar, you will be remembering the writer from shows such as Godfather of Harlem, First Wave, and the much-loved classic Narcos.

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