Tucked away in southern Indiana and nearly surrounded by the Hoosier National Forrest are the small towns of French Lick and West Baden Springs. Here you will find French Lick Resort and the neighboring West Baden Springs Hotel….hidden gems basically in the middle of nowhere.
Last weekend, Mark planned an overnight getaway as a surprise early Birthday celebration for me and it was amazing. I’ve got to start by giving him all the credit for this post even coming to fruition. It was the first time visiting for the both of us and we were blown away. This might end up sounding like some kind of paid promo but I promise it is not, just our sincere opinions.
The history of the two properties is intriguing…both beautiful and tragic depending on the decade. They sufferred through financial downfalls, multiple changes in ownership and even near collapse. It is somewhat of a miracle these beauties are even still standing. Instead of giving you all of the backstory, you can read all about it here if it strikes your fancy. One of the most interesting things we learned was that a big reason behind the location was the presence of mineral springs in the area…which explained the occasional sulfer smell.
It might be somewhat of a cliche to say “the pictures don’t do it justice” but its true. Even though I’m about to inundate you with photos, I could have easily taken hundreds more.
We arrived a few hours before check-in so we started out by touring French Lick Resort, even though our room was reserved at West Baden. From the moment we walked in my eyes were darting all over the place. Everything from the lobby to the gardens was perfectly decorated and maintained.
It felt like we could have been on the set of some glamourous old Hollywood movie.
To travel between French Lick and West Baden you can simply drive the short one mile, but what’s the fun in that? They offer a railway car that travels on its own track between the two properties all day long.
Just Like French Lick…West Baden was stunning both inside and out. Between the two, it was my favorite since it was a little less busy and more out of the way.
The real show stopper is the atrium, which the entire hotel surrounds…it is breathtaking. We couldn’t decide if it was more impressive during the day or at night.
Gorgeous details are EVERYWHERE… from tilework, to stained glass, ornate trim and rich upholstery.
Our room was no exception, but in addition to being beautiful it was functional and comfortable…hands down the most comfortable hotel bed I’ve ever slept in.
There is plenty to do here without ever having to step foot off of the properties…multiple restaurants and bars, a casino, golf course, spa, riding stable and shops, all of which I somehow missed getting any photos of…oops.
If you want to venture out further, like we did, the two small towns offer some charming shops and even a winery…I recommend the Chambourcin Rose, two bottles came home with us.
Somehow French Lick Resort & West Baden Springs Hotel have managed to be peaceful and luxurious without being pretentious. I imagine this is why they have both received AAA Four-Diamond ratings. The weekend was about as close to perfect as I could imagine but for the sake of transparency I will share the only few cons I can think of:
1) We did not strike it rich at the casino 2) Our service at dinner was very slow but thankfully the food was good and they discounted our bill 3) I ended up with blisters from all of the walking…but that was probably my fault for wearing the wrong shoes
If you are looking for destination for a weekend trip or a romantic getaway I can’t recommend this place enough. We’ve already been talking about our next trip back!