Sitting in the dining room at the Colony Hotel in Kennebunkport, guests are treated to chargers emblazoned with Colony Hotel Kennebunkport. But look closely. Every once in a while, like a four-leaf clover, a near-identical plate shows up among the place settings, Colony Hotel Del Ray Beach. During rare moments like this, the Colony’s two worlds collide, a near out-of-body experience.
Few Mainers are aware the Colony in Kennebunkport (1917) has a doppleganger in Florida. The Colony’s sexy Spanish sister, the Colony Hotel Del Ray Beach, was designed in 1926 by Martin Luther Hampton, an Addison Mizner associate.
“I go all the time to both Colonies,” says John Martin, general manager of the Kennebunkport resort. The Colony in Del Ray Beach “is a gorgeous Spanish Revival with a cabana club. I love sitting on the raised front patio, watching people coming and going. It’s like being in Casablanca.”
By the way, “the family who owns both Colonies owned the Colony in Del Ray first,” Martin says. “George Boughton discovered the Colony in Kennebunkport,” owned for years by Martin’s family, the Bantas, and couldn’t resist completing the set. What a wild duet.
Then something strange happened. “Now there’s a Dock Square Clothiers in both Kennebunkport and Del Ray.” Also traveling through the looking glass was the sadly missed “Snappy Turtle [boutique], which used to go back and forth, too.” What invisible hand perpetuates the mystical duality shared by the two places?
Regarding the magic plates, “Trucks go back and forth between the two locations” because of some shared staff and other assets. Which doesn’t entirely explain how the ceramic stowaways slip onto the trucks and make their way up into our world. If you bump into a Del Ray plate up here, close your eyes and dream. In the time-space continuum, we’re just islands in the stream. For more on doppelgangers: http://paranormal.about.com.od/Doppelgangers/a/doppelgangers.htm.