French Lick Springs Hotel: A Stay in Historical Luxury

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.

French Lick Springs Hotel exterior

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.

Fench Lick Springs Hotel Porch
The French Lick Springs Hotel porch is the perfect place to enjoy a warm but drizzly evening.
French Lick Springs Hotel Lobby
Hotel lobby
French Lick Springs Hotel room
Our room was spacious, and our view of the courtyard gorgeous.
Frenk Lick Springs Hotel courtyard
An evening in the courtyard
Pluto spring
Most of the French Lick mineral springs have dried up, but the Pluto Spring still flows.
The Spa at French Lick Springs Hotel
Although you can no longer soak in outdoor mineral baths, you can soak in the Pluto Mineral Bath in indoor comfort or take advantage of other pampering spa treatments at The Spa at French Lick Springs Hotel.
Plutos Alley
Of the two hotels, French Lick Springs is the more family friendly with a fun indoor pool and Pluto’s Alley, a bowling alley and arcade.
French Lick Springs Hotel passage
This cave-like passageway was constructed during the 2006 hotel restoration as an access route from the buffet restaurant to Pluto’s Alley.
Power Plant Bar and Grill
The French Lick Springs Hotel offers several dining options, from fine dining to coffee shops. We opted for the casual Power Plant Bar & Grill. One wall of the restaurant displays equipment that once powered the hotel.
French Lick Resort shops
If shopping is your thing, you’ll find plenty of shops to browse, including boutiques, gift shops and a candy shop.

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.

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French Lick Springs 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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