My daughter (19) and I had a quick getaway from the cold and after searching the area we decided to stay at the Marlin. It was an awesome choice and we travel a lot! We typically stay at smaller boutique hotels as they tend to be more upscale, stylish and personal than the larger places. The Marlin fit right into that description but I'll also add hip. The rooms were large (we were in 303) and ultra-modern. The whole iPad set up with everything from colored lighting, auto drapes, awesome sound system and tv/mirror were such an unexpected surprise.. The beds and duvet was very comfortable and the bathrooms had excellent amenities. Each room also had beach bag and towels and largest stocked liquor cabinet I've ever seen. Each person at the front desk was very professional and personal from helping with valet, check-in/out, etc. . At night the bar was a perfect place to start out or return back to. One night they had a contemporary artist at work in the bar with his pieces on display while he created a new piece. The two young bartenders were also so friendly and put on no airs (which I have little patience for).
The music vibe certainly resonates as South Beach Recording studios was also a central reason for picking the Marlin as my daughter recorded her first two songs. Joe Galdo spent over an hour with us the first day there. What an incredible person and such a treat as his passion for music and the art of recording is something my daughter and I will never forget! yes we will return! Dustin did a great job with us spending over two hours the next morning in the studio and the whole rental was quite reasonable.
Overall, if your looking for something different I'd definitely try the Marlin. Don't worry about having no pool- it's two blocks from the beach and rental chairs, umbrellas, etc. are easy. It's location was also perfect and the area not too dense (I.e., massive hotels, cheesy t-shirt shops etc.)
Starbucks is around the corner witch I suggest because morning coffee at the bar is a bit weak, but omelets and breakfast was good!
The only thing I wouldn't do again is probably rent a car. So close to the airport and cabs are so easy. I'd also not hesitate to bring kids 12 and older there, but probably not younger.