When the Monon Railroad built a line from Chicago to French Lick, Indiana, in the late 1800s, everyone who was anyone from Chicago began visiting French Lick. Well-to-do folks played golf on a championship course. They bathed in the healing mineral springs. And they stayed in the luxury French Lick Springs Hotel or the nearby equally luxurious West Baden Hotel.
Decline and revival of the hotels
As railroad ridership fell, so did the French Lick resorts’ popularity. The hotels fell into disrepair. The West Baden Hotel was repurposed to a college, then a seminary and then vacated. The French Lick Springs Hotel continued operating as a hotel, but lost its grandeur as it was sold from group to group.
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In 2005, the Cook Group, headed up by Bill and Gail Cook, purchased the French Lick Springs Hotel, as well as the West Baden Hotel. They previously had contributed a large sum of money toward the restoration of the West Baden Hotel, working with Indiana Landmarks Foundation. Indiana Landmarks is a not-for-profit foundation committed to preserving Indiana’s historic building.
Today, the hotels are back to their original opulence and combined into one resort, the French Lick Resort. The resort again boasts championship golf courses, and a casino has been added to the property.
Our stay at the French Lick Springs Hotel
We had the pleasure of staying at the French Lick Springs Hotel during our visit to French Lick last fall. Although we arrived too late for the daily tour, we took time to roam the resort grounds ourselves, taking plenty of photos.
More about the French Lick Springs Hotel
The 443-room French Lick Springs Hotel is located at 8670 West State Road 56 in French Lick, Indiana. The resort also has golf courses, riding stables, casino, trolley that runs between resort attractions, fitness center, walking trails, formal gardens, playground and kids activities. Find more information about French Lick Springs Hotel, compare prices, and read what other travelers have to say at TripAdvisor.
Watch for our article about French Lick Spring Hotel’s sister property, the West Baden hotel.
Disclosures: Visit French Lick West Baden hosted our visit to French Lick. Our hotel stay was complimentary. However, any opinions expressed in this article are my own.
This article contains an affiliate link. If you book at room through the TripAdvisor link above, I will receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you.
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