Our Stories Resort Blog

Dig a little deeper into stories about our history, unique guest features, and what’s happening around the resort.


"So Refreshing": Tea, Relaxation and More for a Special Birthday

Dressy Afternoon Tea at West Baden Springs Hotel

We love how French Lick Resort is a place to celebrate life's special moments with the ones you love. 

And Michelle's story perfectly sums up the type of memorable moments that are made here.

Michelle shared this feedback with us after four generations of her family were treated to a getaway to remember this past summer. She agreed to share her story with us in our blog — read all about it, and maybe even find a little inspiration for a family visit of your own.

Several years ago, in preparation for hosting a large formal tea for our parish community, my mother-in-law and I came across an article in the May/June 2019 Tea Time magazine titled, “Afternoon Tea in the Eighth Wonder of the World,” and so the dream began. We live in Walton, Kentucky, so the distance was quite doable, and we talked about going “some day” to experience high tea in the West Baden Springs Hotel atrium. 

Afternoon Tea at West Baden Springs Hotel

Time passed, life happened, and then on the occasion of my mother-in-law’s 80th birthday, we decided this trip would be the perfect way to celebrate her. She loves formality, with all the pomp and circumstance and details. French Lick Resort didn’t disappoint. In fact, it far exceeded our expectations.

My first contact with the resort was with Shelley over the phone, and she was so very helpful and enthusiastic. I told her the occasion, a little bit about my mother-in-law and the purpose of our visit. She took that information and offered so many fitting suggestions to help make our visit perfect. Her enthusiasm for what we were trying to do was so refreshing. We were unable to stay at West Baden Springs Hotel, but reserved three rooms at French Lick Springs Hotel. I am so glad it worked out that way!

Afternoon Tea at West Baden Springs Hotel

On July 21, we arrived at French Lick Springs Hotel about midday. We were a party of 6 (with an additional guest who joined us later in the evening) representing four generations: my mother-in-law, myself, and my daughter-in-law, daughter and granddaughter, as well as a family friend. We were warmly greeted at the curb, our car parked, and our bags taken upstairs for us. We were able to get early check-in on two of the three rooms, which I had requested in case my mother-in-law needed to rest in the early afternoon. The staff at the desk were friendly and enthusiastic. We were given flowers for my mother-in-law for the occasion of her 80th birthday, and that was the first of the many little things that really impressed her and us all.

Afternoon Tea at West Baden Springs Hotel

We checked into the rooms then caught the resort shuttle for a trip into town for lunch at a recommended restaurant. After lunch and looking around in a few shops, we walked back to the hotel. Exploring the hotel and gardens was a nice way to spend a leisurely afternoon, before once again boarding a shuttle for Hagen’s Club House Restaurant (another wonderful recommendation from the staff) for dinner. On our ride to dinner, our shuttle driver, Shelby, was so friendly. When we arrived at Hagen’s he stepped out, and asked if he could buy my mother-in-law’s dinner, in honor of his own grandmother! Who does that?! As we discovered throughout the whole visit, kindness like Shelby’s is just par for the course for French Lick Resort.

Ragtime Music at French Lick Resort

The staff and atmosphere at Hagen’s lived up to its recommendation, and added to our whole experience, as our family is a big golfing family, so eating at the course was very apropos. Upon our return to the hotel, we discovered a Dixieland-type band playing on the large porch. What a pleasant surprise! We sat in rocking chairs and enjoyed the music and atmosphere. It was one of the highlights of the trip for my mother-in-law, taking her back to olden times.

Afternoon Tea at West Baden Springs Hotel

Afternoon Tea at West Baden Springs Hotel

Next our party divided, with my mother-in-law taking the younger girls to the swimming pool, while part of our party took the shuttle over to West Baden Springs Hotel to do some exploring. And explore we did! The atrium was so impressive! But we also enjoyed exploring the rest of the hotel — the library and the hidden notes, the upstairs viewing area (overlooking the atrium from the second-floor mezzanine), the shops, the hallways and the discovering the Angel Room paintings and mystery surrounding them, the gardens, the cemetery and more. We truly had a marvelous, leisurely evening exploring, after which we headed back to French Lick Hotel to retire for the evening.

Afternoon Tea at West Baden Springs Hotel

Saturday morning started with a delicious breakfast and friendly, helpful staff at the Grand Colonnade, followed by more exploring and shopping, then off to West Baden Springs Hotel. The tour by Indiana Landmarks was very interesting. What a history the hotels have! We were so intrigued we bought two books from one of the shops to learn more. And then we were off to high tea in the atrium, the event that brought us there in the first place. It didn’t disappoint. Delicious, formal, beautiful … we had a lovely time. It was the perfect ending to our visit. We left there quite happy, as we boarded the rail trolley back to our hotel and car.

Trolley Ride at French Lick Resort

Afternoon Tea at West Baden Springs HotelOn our drive home we discussed how usually the one friendly or helpful staff person stands out.  We were all impressed that all the staff at the French Lick Resort were helpful, friendly, and enthusiastic. My mother-in-law loves transportation of all sorts, so riding the shuttles and trolley, and the ease and promptness with which we were able to get them added to the specialness of her visit. At 80 years old, trips like this could be very wearying, but when I asked her two days later if she was worn out, she said, “Oh, no. I’m quite fine. It was so refreshing, almost like a retreat.” She enjoyed herself so much that she asked me to look into a Christmastime visit, so she could see the place all lit up and decorated for the holidays.

I thank you for making our stay there so wonderful.

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