Embracing a Healthy Family: Get Your #Travel On: West Baden Springs Hotel in French Lick Indiana Dubbed Eighth Wonder of the World

Get Your #Travel On: West Baden Springs Hotel in French Lick Indiana Dubbed Eighth Wonder of the World

Every now and then and it really doesn't take long to find that diamond in the rough.  Among the most unlikely places, one can find a treasure whether it's a natural feature or man made, there is charm to behold if you look.  I enjoy finding those little unexpected gems and will drive even the most inconvenient roads to find that one moment that takes your breath away or makes you just be in awe.  I am from Indiana and I have seen this "eighth wonder of the world" but from afar.  I never ventured inside until this past Christmas.  A story my father likes to tell whenever I bring up French Lick or the West Baden Springs Hotel as this was the place to be during it's hey day.  The well to do made this a place for relaxation with their springs and beautiful landscape among the rolling hills in Indiana.  If the thought of Indiana conjures up that thoughts of basketball or corn, a road trip to the southern part of the state will yield numerous photogenic memories to include fascinating historical facts.  

West Baden Springs Hotel 1913 Postcard
In 1855, to capitalize on the mineral springs in this tucked away small Indiana town, the Mile Lick Hotel was built.  Influenced by the great mineral spa Baden Baden, Lee W. Sinclair transformed the Indiana beauty and renamed her the West Baden Springs Hotel.  The resort featured an opera house, a casino, pony and bicycle tracks and a full size baseball field.  Sadly in 1901, in less than two hours, a fire destroyed it all.  Sinclair was determined and envisioned a new future for his dream resort.  A circular building adorned with the world's largest dome and commissioned to be build by Harrison Albright.  The 200-foot atrium resort opened for business in June 1902.  The resort landed in many different hands through the years and was listed in 1974 as a National Historic Landmark but was later closed in 1989 due to neglect and safety concerns.

In May 1994, life was given back to the little town that housed the biggest feature in the area.  Not only was the West Baden Springs Hotel saved but so was its sister property French Lick Springs Hotel.

We decided to visit the West Baden at Christmas for the elegance and beauty that the resort offered.  The beauty of the two properties is there are complimentary shuttles to go everywhere so you can pull up to valet and leave the worry with them from parking to getting your luggage inside the room.  The valets were professional yet engaging.  The check in was effortless but due to the busy time of the year, the clerk wasn't able to spend as much time providing more background on the significance of the resort nor on anything special available during the holidays but she was courteous and friendly. The view above is the view you see as you enter from the valet station.  It was breathtakingly beautiful and the lighting was just perfect to really soak in the Downton Abbey feel of sheer elegance from the past.  The architecture beauty could be found everywhere and left you feeling magical.

With four types of rooms to choose from, you can decide your level of luxury.  I stayed in the Deluxe Countryside View Guest Room which was beautiful and the bed ... oh the bed!  Pure luxury as I can't recall sleeping in more comfortable bed than this.  If you stay at hotels and don't always stay at the five star hotels, this place will spoil you.  Since I did have my two younger girls, having a solid floor that didn't create noise for my neighbors below is important to me as I don't want to ruin someone else's time.  Another feature that I feel hotels are overlooking is the ability to rent on-demand movies.  Although pricey at over $17, you still get to rent a newer released movie and enjoy the comforts of the room.  The picture does not do the room size justice nor does it show the large bathroom with separate toilet room.  With the complimentary robes and bath salts, I was all prepared for a nice hot soak but unfortunately, the bath plug was broken so I was not able to enjoy that.  

The food was delicious to include room service in spite of having issues with my first order, the manager did everything in her power to make up for the order not being received and taking so long.  They even provided their complimentary Signature Chocolate Dome Dessert.

Some of the other features of the resort include:

  • Indoor/outdoor pools
  • Fitness center access
  • Casual and fine dining options
  • Retail shops
  • Historic tours
  • Formal gardens
  • Concierge service
  • Golf
  • Meetings
  • Weddings
  • Stables
  • Carriage rides
  • Spa services and much more

Whether you drive or fly in, it's only a couple of hours from Indianapolis and well worth the visit.

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