Emily turned 30 last week! To celebrate, we’re giving you a peek into her surprise trip and 5 reasons you’ll love French Lick Resort & West Baden Springs Hotel…
This year was a big one. Or so everyone told me. THIRTY.
Sure, thirty sounded older, but doesn’t it also sound more sophisticated? 29 year old me certainly thought so, and I was prepared to celebrate it appropriately. Ask any of my friends and they’ll tell you my birthday seems to go on forever. Can anyone really fit a celebration that big into 24 short hours? I say no.
What I didn’t know was my husband, Jimmy, had planned a surprise getaway for my birthday – which also happens to be our wedding anniversary.
A beautiful 3 hour drive ended at the even more beautiful West Baden Springs Hotel. We stayed Thursday – Saturday and had plenty to do. These are just a few of our favorites … in no particular order:
1. The “Little Things” – West Baden Springs Hotel is full of tiny details to enhance your trip. Our room was gorgeous, he splurged for the Historical Room, knowing my love of antiques and old-timey details. Paned French windows with velvet curtains overlooked the atrium, a claw foot tub, and chocolates and chilled champagne, all there to greet us when we arrived. He also reserved a horse drawn carriage to pick us up from dinner (awwww…) and when we got back to the hotel, a piano was crooning in the atrium so we sat to listen for a while. The perfect ending to a busy day.
2. The History – The original hotel, built in 1855, was destroyed by a fire in 1901, but was reopened in 1902 by then owner, Lee W. Sinclair. His new design included the beautiful indoor atrium, umbrella-ed by the “Eighth Wonder of the World” dome and a fireplace that could burn 14-foot logs. (Still intact, but not functioning – or at least not when we were there.) The hotel changed hands a few times before it closed its doors and sat empty for nearly 20 years. Read more about the hotels history here.
3. The Dining – Our first night in French Lick we had reservations at 1875: The Steakhouse, located inside the French Lick Resort which was fantastic. Don’t leave without a piece of cheesecake! We also tried out the decadent Grand Colonnade Restaurant for breakfast and were not disappointed. The only thing better than that waffle bar is the room itself. Gilded and Gorgeous and perfectly grandiose.
4. The Relaxing Atmosphere – On day 2 I was whisked away to the Spa at West Baden Springs Hotel for a couples massage. Once we got over the implied romantics (we’re not the couples massage type, so we spent the first few minutes holding back laughter) we settled in for 50 minutes of quiet relaxation. The kind of quiet you just don’t get when there’s a 1 year old at home.
We took the rest of the afternoon to take walks and enjoy the view from the breathtaking veranda that wraps around the hotel. We chose two rockers in the sun; I did a crossword and he read the days newspaper. I could’ve stayed there all day. We let the beautiful gardens and surrounding areas lead us. To tell us their stories at their own pace.
5. The Outdoor Activities – Wooded trails teeming with wildlife surround the hotel grounds, and at varying difficulty levels, there is something for everyone. Paved paths for runners and walkers, rugged woodsy trails for hiking and mountain bikes, and gravel drives for a relaxing walk or drive through the woods. We hiked every day, first down the gravel driveway to the stables, and eventually ventured into the woods for more of a challenge, in awe of the autumn beauty everywhere we looked.
It’s safe to say we’ll be back, and hopefully very soon!