Two beautiful historic hotels in one resort. Activities include golf, bowling, horseback riding, swimming, hiking, mountain biking, spa, wine trail, casino, luxury dining, shopping, and history.
The West Baden Springs Hotel was built in 1902, and after much turmoil is now restored to its original splendor. The current owners, Bill and Gale Cook, bought the resort in 1996 and invested hundreds of millions in the restoration of both hotels. West Baden Springs Hotel reopened to guests in May 2007.
The story of the dome dates back more than a hundred years. Lee Wiley Sinclair owned the property since 1888, but when his original inn burned to the ground in 1901, he declared that he would build something that was not only fireproof, but would have the world's largest dome. He scratched a circle in the ashes where the structure would sit, then set out to find an architect to build it for him.
This chandelier hangs from the top of the dome.
This priceless ceramic fireplace stands along the wall inside the atrium. The elf is the hotel's trademark, Sprudel, who appeared on bottles of the hotel's famous mineral water.
Entrance to the spa.
Hotel dining room, Café Sinclair's.
Temple of Apollo.
Formal gardens and the old bowling alley, still in need of restoration.
Horseback riding at The Stables.
The West Baden Springs Hotel was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974, became a National Historic Landmark in 1987, and is a Historic Civil Engineering Landmark.
Visitors are greeted by a jazz band on the veranda of French Lick Springs Hotel.
Everything in the lobby is decorated in gold leaf. The name "lick" derives from the early days when grazing cows licked the mineral rich rocks in the pastures. This hotel was called French Lick and the other was called Mile Lick because it was a mile away. However, the name was later changed to West Baden after a town in Germany. The two hotels taken together comprise today's French Lick Resort.
Sophisticated dining in 1875: The Steakhouse, located inside French Lick Springs Hotel.
Pete Dye Golf Clubhouse and views of the course:
Play golf at the Pete Dye Golf Course, or rent the clubhouse as a fully furnished luxury vacation rental for $10,000 a night; rent the clubhouse for events. World class golf. Additional courses: Donad Ross Course, Valley Links Course, and Sultan's Run Golf Course.
The French Lick West Baden History Museum tells the story of the resorts, which includes circus history. The museum is moving to a larger space in their current building, slated to open in time for Thanksgiving.
This is Pluto, the French Lick Hotel's trademark for its Pluto Water brand mineral water. The museum has two of these fellows, originally bright red, now done up in faux gold leaf.
The Indiana Railway Museum, located in downtown French Lick.
An 1845 trolly car retrofitted as an gasoline powered automobile shuttles tourists around the resort.
The French Lick Winery is a stop on the local wine trail. Be sure to visit for lunch and gifts.