The Colony Hotel is a rarity – it’s not part of a chain. The 125-room property has been in the Boughton and Banta families since 1948. The establishment includes three buildings, plus two vacation rental style houses. According to General Manager John Martin, there are nine different room types, because the sprawling red-roofed main building, which dates to 1913 or 1914 (it’s debated), was constructed during an area when guests would bring servants with them, who would have smaller rooms.
“Hotels like these are becoming a lost breed,” Martin says. “They’re either getting turned into condominiums or falling apart.” But the Boughtons, led by Jestena Boughton, who oversees the family’s second property in Delray Beach, Florida, are making sure this property stays current, and a hotel. “This past winter we put in well over $1 million in renovations,” Martin notes. The Colony was the first hotel in Maine certified as a green hotel, back in 1994, a status they’ve maintained for 18 years.
One of the hotel’s many assets is its location. “It sits atop the highest point of land in Kennebunkport,” Martin says. “You can see the cupola from a mile away.” Amenities include a private beach, a saltwater swimming pool, and sunset views from the hotel’s porch dining room. “The hotel has a great orientation,” Martin adds. “It faces to the Southwest.”
Open from mid-May to late October, The Colony’s rates range from $99 to $400, depending on the room and the season, and include a full buffet breakfast, with eggs, pancakes, breakfast meats – “everything you want in a breakfast,” Martin says. The morning meal is offered in the Grand Dining Room with the popular glassed-in porch overlooking the ocean. This is also a fine dining restaurant for dinner. Options include classic seafood fare like Clam Chowder and Maine Crab Cakes, as well as creative offerings like Sea Scallops seared in blueberry vodka with angel hair pasta or Surf and Turf made with tournedos of beef and grilled lobster tail.
The Marine Room offers a poolside lunch with simple choices like a Cheeseburger or Steamed Lobster; all entrees come with a salad buffet. Executive Chef Darren Watson, who has been at the Colony for 30 years, supervises both restaurants, as well as all the banquet events – the hotel is a popular location for weddings.
August is a busy time here, but the pace slows after Labor Day. “ I think September is the best month of summer in Maine, from a visiting standpoint,” Martin says. It’s also a time when the hotel offers specials.