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The visit I told you about last time to the Oliver Winery in Indiana was not my final destination. I was on my way to a place that time forgot, French Lick and West Baden. For well over a century and a half, French Lick and West Baden “sister” hotels have been known for their rich history and opulence. Both have been restored to their original glamour and even though they exchange privileges with one another they each have their own distinct personalities.
French Lick immediately welcomes you with the valet handing you bottles of water and refreshing towels. Then up the staircase you go to a gorgeous porch lined with wooden rocking chairs and then into a beautiful lobby with marble pillars and beautiful painted scenes on the ceiling framed in gold.
Bright and early in the morning my girlfriends and I would get up, grab some blankets and a cup of coffee and head out to the porch and rock and talk and watch the sun rise. It is one of my favorite memories. There were hiking trails, bike rentals, a casino, an amazing array of restaurants and shopping.
West Baden was my favorite! Once known as “the Eighth Wonder of the World” it was made to resemble a mineral spa in Europe called Baden. It is a circular building topped with a large dome, with a 200-foot diameter atrium and fireplace that once burned 14 foot logs. It was here that Gangsters “Diamond Jim” Brandy and Al Capone also spent time hiding out in style “back in the day”. I learned much about the resort and its history through helping a couple with a destination wedding. When I finally got to see it in person it took my breath away. From the spa, to the pool, to the library everything is elegance at its finest. However, if you are not into history and opulence, I am sure René would appreciate me mentioning the championship golf courses and the Valley Links Learning Center which is a state of the art practice facility to help you improve your game.
I could literally go on for days describing these resorts in detail, but I will leave you with some pictures instead. If you ever get a chance to visit French Lick and West Baden you will not forget it! – Tamara