Built in 1926, the Mari-Jean Hotel building is significant for its association with the development of the tourism industry in St. Petersburg during the 1920s. Built during the city’s golden era of hotels, the hotel with its fifty-six rooms and baths reflects the changing character of the city’s lodging industry from small boarding homes to the larger sized hotels built during the Florida Land Boom Era.
Unlike the larger hotels built in the 1920s, the Mari-Jean was operated by its owner for over thirty-four years until 1970. In addition, throughout its duration as a hotel the Mari-Jean operated seasonally, closing its doors after tourists left with the onset of the summer heat.
Harry Jean moved to St Petersburg in the early 1920's in seek of a more open and accepting community to showcase his hidden talents. Prior to opening the hotel, Harry would often be seen around town adorned in his late socialite mother's evening wear. The locals quickly became fond of Mari Jean, Harry's alter ego. Feeling so comfortable in his new persona, Harry decided his new hotel project should take on his new namesake, Mari Jean!
When the hotel opened in 1926, Mari could often be seen around the halls and at the front desk in her late mother's lime green ball gown and best jewels. Today we honor Mari Jean for her courage and style by reimagining and opening the historic Mari Jean Hotel in 2023. You will note the nod to Mari in the lime green accent colors used throughout the resort. Guests often swear they see Mari when walking around the property. Make sure you say hello to Mari as she was the bell of the ball in her day.