The West Baden Springs Hotel & The French Lick Resort

The fabulous state of Indiana is rich in history and home to the “eighth wonder of the world”.

A recent Spring Break family trip took us to the state of Indiana. Our family traveled to Indiana to purchase a puppy from a particular breeder. I had traveled through Indiana for business in the past, but never took the time to really discover all that the state has to offer.

Being a family of four, we are always interested in staying at resorts with a variety of amenities and activities for the kids…and the adults.

One of our favorite resorts offering a wide variety of activities on the east coast is the Greenbrier HERE. Little did we know…that Indiana has a very similar resort offering an abundance of activities for families as well. My husband and I refer to the French Lick Resort as the Greenbrier of Indiana. During our trip, we stayed at the West Baden Hotel.

The French Lick Resort and the West Baden Springs Hotel are located within a mile of each other in the town of French Lick, Indiana. Weird name…right? French Lick got its name from the early French settlers and the “mineral licks.” French traders came to the area and discovered the mineral springs bubbling from the ground in the vicinity of what is now French Lick.

In 1855 the Mile Lick Hotel was built to capitalize on the abundance of mineral springs in the area. The name was later changed to West Baden Springs Hotel as it was fashioned after the great mineral spa of Europe, Baden Baden. Lee W. Sinclair transformed West Baden into a sophisticated resort, adding an opera house, a casino, a two-deck pony and bicycle track and a full-size baseball field. Sadly, in June of 1901 a fire destroyed the entire lodging structure in less than two hours.

fullsizeoutput_8005Sinclair used this tragedy as his opportunity to build the hotel of his dreams. He envisioned a circular building topped with the world’s largest dome, decorated like the grandest spas of Europe. Architect Harrison Albright completed the project within a year. The new hotel, complete with a 200-foot diameter atrium opened for business in June of 1902.

fullsizeoutput_8003A century later, after changing ownership several times and going through a multi-million dollar renovation, the West Baden Hotel and the French Lick Resort have returned to the grandeur of the early 1900’s.

This picture shows the lobby of the west Baden Hotel.

fullsizeoutput_8004Once called the “Eighth Wonder of the World,” the focal point of West Baden Springs Hotel is the awe-inspiring atrium that spans 200 feet.

fullsizeoutput_82c0And has the ability to change colors.

fullsizeoutput_82bdEach floor of the hotel has a quaint seating area in front of the elevators.

fullsizeoutput_82bbThe architecture and style of the dome is truly remarkable.

fullsizeoutput_8002A view into the lobby of the West Baden from the second floor.

fullsizeoutput_82beToo cold during our visit to swim outside, but having an outdoor swimming pool is a nice amenity during the warmer months.

sHf80Tl9QOOso4a2VmcnxwWe did take advantage of the large indoor pool. The West Baden Springs hotel has earned the title of national historic landmark.

A short shuttle ride away is West Baden’s sister Hotel..the French Lick Resort.

fullsizeoutput_7fffThe lobby area is decorated in true french style.

fullsizeoutput_82acWith crystal chandeliers, doric columns and  a lot of gold accents.

fullsizeoutput_82abThe hotel has earned a 4 diamond distinction from AAA.

fullsizeoutput_82aaFresh flowers are displayed near the lobby entrance.

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fullsizeoutput_82b5Curio stands line the hallways of the resort filled with hotel treasures.

fullsizeoutput_82b2The resort also houses a 27,000 square foot spa.

When choosing a vacation spot for our family, the choice of restaurants is important to us. We like to enjoy a variety of casual and fine dining.

02jgVmNPRieGKuQExwzCHAMy husband and I enjoyed a fabulous meal at one of the finer restaurants in the hotel.

Tf8UWGssS9evX1MqTrUTMQWe were seated in a private and quiet room of the restaurant with only 2 tables.

siQKvzvUQWGPcJErkSImPAThe beverage menu had a nice selection of specialty cocktails and liqueurs.

4fwslfZ+RX6zO8Vsjr64jQThe main menu had a wide variety of appetizers and entrees from which to choose.

fullsizeoutput_82caI always love a good steak..

fullsizeoutput_82cbAnd fish option. The food was excellent at the restaurant and the atmosphere superb. All in all, I would definitely recommend the 1875 Steakhouse as a wonderful fine dining option in the French Lick area.

fullsizeoutput_7fecThe presentation of a single red rose at the end of our meal was icing on the cake.

After dinner, we headed to the casino for an exciting evening of gambling! I was on fire at the casino! I rolled for an hour and a half at the craps table…I made a lot of people very happy with my rolling….an evening I will never forget….definitely one of the highlights of my trip 🙂

Outside the resort, but located within a few miles are numerous activities as well. We took our kids to an Indoor karting track.k9A4OUAbQrqvfi+NS%9ykQMy heart skipped a couple beats as I watched my 9 year old zip around those curvy bends at full speed! But they had a great time doing it, definitely one of the highlights of their trip.

FrenchLickWineryRedWhite
After karting, we headed to the French Lick Winery to do a tasting of local wines.

We also took a trip into Kentucky to tour the Buffalo Trace Distillery HERE. A fascinating tour of a 200 year old warehouse and operating distillery that even stayed open during prohibition.

Besides great dining, swimming, hiking, shopping, fitness, bowling, and touring, you can enjoy biking, hiking, golf, horse riding, and carriage rides. So next time you think about Indiana for a family trip..think about the French Lick Resort HERE.

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See you next time!

12 thoughts on “The West Baden Springs Hotel & The French Lick Resort

    1. It was a really neat place to visit Joe, if you and your family are ever in the area…you should check it out.

    1. It really is..never knew about it before our visit. So glad we got the chance to experience it. You should check it out if you are ever in the area.

    1. Thanks Cher…so sweet of you to drop a comment. Yes the resort was a unique and very cool resort, we enjoyed our visit very much.

  1. Fancy, Fancy! I’m sure there’s a fancy price tag here too! 🙂 However, there’s nothing like a fabulous hotel. I love it.

    1. Hi Toya! Actually, it’s not as bad as you’d think! But it was worth the stay 🙂

    1. The West Baden is definitely an unusual hotel for sure, definitely worth visiting if you are ever in the area.

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