This past Fall and Winter inspired me to stay close to home and take the time to appreciate some of the best destinations that my “backyard”, the Midwest, has to offer. In my exploration of fine properties in the heartland of America, I had the fortune of visiting one of the loveliest places I have ever been to, West Baden Springs Hotel, part of the French Lick Resort, which is in West Baden, Indiana, a quaint town within a reasonable drive from several major cities: Louisville (70 miles), Indianapolis (108 miles), Cincinnati (163 miles), and Chicago (290 miles).
West Baden Springs is a European-inspired luxury hotel with well-appointed accommodations, numerous dining options, vast gardens and acreage, and a host of fine amenities and daily activities for guests. It is a jewel of a property for more than one reason. When I say it is a jewel, it literally looks like one, with a crown similar to that of a finely-sculpted ruby on its exterior, and as beautiful as a Faberge egg in its interior. It is architecture rarely seen these days and was almost lost forever until the current ownership came to its rescue and renovated the hotel in its entirety.
The history of this property runs over 150 years, with various reinventions in its purpose, turnover in ownership, and deterioration due to neglect; but it never lost its character and charm. After this latest major renovation, which was completed in 2007, it is finally a polished jewel at the height of its luster. A great deal of its charm is due to its old world flavor and authenticity in period design which is uncommon in many hotels and resorts. The ownership managed to marry the old and new together with ease without compromising its original integrity or making any parts of it kitschy. It is every bit luxurious and polished as the finest grand hotels in existence 100 years ago, but with the advantage of being completely modern with 21st century technology, conveniences and amenities. (For more on West Baden Springs Hotel’s history, including details about the historic mineral springs that made the area an attraction: http://www.frenchlick.com/aboutus/history/wbsh)
Upon entering the resort’s cobblestone entrance, the marquee boldly greeted me with its buttercream arches. I could envision carriages and some of the first automobiles from yesteryear approaching the building with their occupants gazing at the hotel’s splendor. As I slowly acquainted myself with each of the cobblestones up the drive to the hotel, I looked to my left and saw the beautifully manicured gardens fit for a bridal event or romantic stroll. Surely, this was inspired by the lawns of the finest European estates, maybe even those at the Palace of Versailles.
Upon reaching the hotel, I headed inside to the reservation desk and was struck still by the majestic 200-foot diameter atrium. It is absolutely awe-inspiring. I don’t know what amazed me most about it, its beauty or its size. The superior intricacies of the ceiling and the floor details are what make this hotel a masterpiece; and it carries well throughout the entire property. This was the beginning to a ridiculously-amazing stay. I felt like a damsel being courted by this hotel. Very classy, very beautiful, and very well done.
I highly recommend West Baden Springs Hotel for everyone, whether singles, couples, business travelers, or families.
West Baden Springs Hotel features 243 elegant European-inspired guest rooms and suites. Rich fabrics, materials, furniture and other decorative details make up the unique retro- feel signature designs in each guest room. (http://www.frenchlick.com/hotels/westbaden/rooms)
Entertainment and Activities
There are vast round-the-clock activities for guests at West Baden Springs Hotel (In conjunction with its sister property, the American Classic luxury hotel, French Lick Springs. The hotels are within 1 mile of one another and are accessible by the complimentary shuttle running between properties).
• Spa and salon (in natatorium--http://www.frenchlick.com/spas/westbaden)
• Championship-level Golf Courses—legendary courses await the golf-lover (http://www.frenchlick.com/golf)
• Meeting and Event spaces (http://www.frenchlick.com/conferences/westbaden/generalinfo)
• Several casual and fine dining options (http://www.frenchlick.com/hotels/westbaden/dining)
• Indoor/outdoor pools
• Fitness center
• Exquisite retail shops
• Just for Kids events
• Riding stables
• Carriage rides
• Historic property tours
• Bowling alley and arcade
• Tennis and Basketball courts
• Bicycling and hiking trails
• French Lick Casino
Activities link: http://www.frenchlick.com/activities
Specials and Packages
West Baden Springs Hotel has numerous packages, including spa, family fun, and golf. Take your pick of specific packages, or indulge in the sampler package which gives you a taste of everything. (http://www.frenchlick.com/hotels/westbaden/packages)
West Baden Springs Hotel has been consistently honored by the readers of Condé Nast Traveler. The resort was chosen as the 15th Best Resort in the U.S., which came on the heels of their Gold List Designation in January 2009.
Current to the time of the publishing this article, West Baden Springs received recent top-notch customer ratings on Trip Advisor, Hotels.com, Yelp and Google Reviews.
Contact Info: French Lick Resort (http://www.frenchlick.com/)
West Baden Springs Hotel
8538 West Baden Avenue
West Baden Springs, Indiana 47469
French Lick Springs
8670 West State Road 56
French Lick, Indiana 47432
Special thanks to West Baden Springs Hotel, French Lick Resort and Tessa Higgs, Public Relations Coordinator for French Lick Resort.