Secluded, adult-only boutique hotel with Zen-like atmosphere
Eco-friendly materials used throughout
High-tech rooms with Asian-inspired decor and lots of thoughtful amenities
Central Providenciales location, close to the beach, shops, and restaurants
Small “fitness room” and temporary spa
Free pastries and coffee served each morning
Free parking and Wi-Fi
Not on the beach
No pool, restaurant, or communal spaces (though future plans are in the works)
Rooms are small, cramped, and lack adequate lighting
High-tech room features are sometimes more annoying than helpful
For a Caribbean resort, One On Marlin is certainly unique. For starters, it’s not on the beach, and doesn’t particularly aim to be a “beach hotel.” Instead, the owner tries to market it as a Zen-like retreat — a place to really escape. With a secluded location, well-manicured grounds with tons of tropical foliage, Asian-inspired rooms, and ambient spa-like music quietly playing throughout the hotel, One On Marlin has certainly achieved the feeling of an exclusive retreat. But the hotel’s aesthetic doesn’t always jive with practicality, and its secluded location means guests will have to drive to the beach, grocery store, and restaurants. Its rooms, designed according to feng shui principles, are small, cramped with furniture, and lack sufficient lighting. And some may find the overtly tranquil atmosphere, well, a bit boring. Travelers looking for a quiet beachfront option may prefer Le Vele Resort, which has more on-site amenities and is within walking distance to downtown Grace Bay, but lacks One On Marlin’s seclusion.
From its entrance, it’s apparent that One On Marlin is different from other Turks and Caicos hotels. The secluded property is centrally located on the island, but feels as though it’s in the middle of nowhere. A large stone sign displaying the hotel’s name greets guests at the entrance, but first-time visitors may be slightly confused with how to proceed. There aren’t any directional signs, nor is there any indication of where the lobby or reception desk is. For reference, make a left at the entrance, park in the lot on the right, and walk up the first set of stairs on the righthand side. The lobby is nothing more than a tiny room with a front desk and a small seating area. Guests are greeted by the owner or on-site manager, and are immediately taken to their rooms for the check-in process.
It’s hard to get a read on the “typical guest” at One On Marlin. The private nature of the property and its lack of communal spaces mean one could very well spend a week there without so much as seeing another guest. Of course, as this is an adult-only hotel, there are no children here. Travelers best suited for One On Marlin are those looking for a secluded getaway rather than a beach vacation.
Not on the beach, and not within walking distance of anything
One On Marlin gets its name from its address — surprise, it’s located on Marlin Street! Marlin Street has no other occupants besides the hotel, and feels completely secluded. The property itself is full of tropical foliage, including fruit trees and tons of local flora. It has a tranquil, Zen-like atmosphere that is unlike any other hotel on the island.
Though it’s not on the beach, One On Marlin is centrally located on the island of Providenciales. Though it’s not really within walking distance of anything, the airport, Grace Bay, tons of local restaurants, and the grocery store are all within a five- to 10-minute drive. The hotel tries to claim that it’s within walking distance of the beach, and while you can technically walk to Grace Bay, it requires crossing a highway and tackling some hills.
Tiny, cramped apartments with modern decor and lots of amenities
Rooms at One On Marlin are all tiny studio apartments with full kitchens, private balconies, and loads of high-tech features. The apartments were built with natural, eco-friendly materials whenever possible, and have an Asian-inspired feel about them. Rooms are essentially separated into four spaces — the kitchen, the living room, the bedroom, and the bathroom — but still maintain an open concept floor plan. We won’t lie, rooms at One On Marlin are tight on space and can feel pretty cramped with two occupants. However, the hotel does provide space saving storage solutions, such as large closets and separate luggage compartments.
In-room decor is a combination of modern and Asian-inspired design. Stainless steel kitchen cabinets are offset by butcher block counters and light-wood room dividers. Billowy white bedding is contrasted with bright canvas artwork, and large wooden desks are made more homey by the fresh flowers placed there each day. Bathrooms are a marble affair, with large walk-in showers, but no tubs. Like the rest of the space, bathrooms are a bit cramped.
Rooms are loaded with high-tech features, such as Apple TVs, LED lighting, incredibly fast Wi-Fi, and a free iPhone for guests to use while on the island. Rooms are also stocked with nice amenities, such as Gilchrist and Soames toiletries, free beach chairs and coolers, and refrigerators filled with soft drinks, beer, and champagne (though imbibing warrants extra charges). The pitfall to such niceties is that some of the room’s high-tech features are confusing or inconvenient. The LED lights are eco-friendly, but don’t make rooms very bright. There are also dozens of light switches all over the room, but no central hub and nothing near the bed. So if you like to read in bed before sleeping, you’ll have to get out from under the covers to turn the room’s lights off. The rooms’ windows are also equipped with blackout shades, but there is nothing covering the glass panes on the doors — completely defeating the purpose of the window coverings.
Big future plans, but right now, only a few freebies
During our visit, One On Marlin was still in the initial stages of its “soft opening,” meaning the entire property isn’t finished quiet yet, but the hotel welcomes guests to stay in the completed guests rooms. Because of this, One On Marlin doesn’t have many amenities to speak of. Eventually, over the course of many years, the hotel’s owner plans to add more rooms, a pool, a restaurant, a spa, a fitness center, and even a nature path for walking and running. Currently, there are two small rooms that function as a makeshift spa and fitness center, but they’re nothing to write home about. In the meantime, One On Marlin offers free daily coffee and pastries, free parking, and free, fast Wi-Fi.