The Marlin Hotel, once a hangout for Jay-Z, Pharrell Williams and Aerosmith, unveiled its new look Wednesday. Gone is the Caribbean-hip vibe that British fashion designer Barbara Hulanicki brought to the Marlin when it was owned by Island Records founder Chris Blackwell, and the spare style that replaced it after Blackwell sold the hotel in 2004.
MRK Investments, which bought the Marlin last spring for $9.5 million, has brought an updated Deco style to the lobby that recalls the hotel’s 1939 birth and a dragon theme to the new Asian-inspired restaurant. The existing 14 rooms have been refashioned with wood floors and neutral tones. Another 18 suites will be added in the coming year, built into spaces that once held offices, Blackwell’s penthouse and the famed South Beach Studios where Aerosmith and others recorded.
That musical past won’t disappear altogether, said hotel manager Flor Rivas. Memorabilia will adorn the hallway that once led to the studio. Said Rivas, “We don’t want to forget about that history or leave it the past.”