Review of French Lick Resort By: Stephanie
My husband and I were extremely lucky to have the opportunity to visit Fench Lick, IN and stay at French Lick Resort at the French Lick Springs Hotel for a wonderful weekend getaway from Louisville with our kids. It was under an hour and a half drive from our home in Louisville which made for ample time to enjoy our stay even though we were only going for one night. The ride was very simple, direct and quite scenic. If you are looking for a staycation close to Louisville, this is a great option.
We arrived at the hotel and it was bustling with people checking in and the expansive porch was full of people in rocking chairs relaxing and enjoying the view. You can choose complementary valet parking or you can park yourself. The kids were in awe over how big the hotel was and I was impressed with it’s grandeur. It is a stunning hotel!
Check in was quick and we headed to our room. We had a large, clean and nicely decorated room with tall windows and enough space for the roll away bed that we requested. The kids loved the idea of being able to sleep in the lofty beds with silky covers that I thought they wouldn’t want to leave the room! We enjoyed our view of the front of the hotel where we could see the town of French Lick to the right and the historic train station to the left. There are so many things to do in French Lick for families that are right in proximity to this resort or at the resort itself!
We convinced the children to come and explore the hotel! We stopped in the lobby to read about some of the daily happenings to choose how to spend our time. The kids sat in just about every couch and chair and looked wide-eyed up at the painted ceilings. Following our map that we got at check-in, we found the gorgeous gardens and spring in the back and the indoor shopping area. The shops include a gift shop, ladies shop for clothes and accessories, a men’s shop, a jewelry shop and a cute little candy shop. Just about everywhere we turned, we found another restaurant. There are several ranging from a bar and grill to a buffet to a fancier steak house. They also have an adorable coffee and ice cream shop near the lobby that is perfect for grabbing a treat and heading to the porch to rock and enjoy it! While heading back to the elevator, we saw they were giving out complimentary lemonade and freshly baked cookies; what a special afternoon treat! Several times, we were greeted by the friendly staff and felt very welcomed.
We made our plans and my husband and I took our kids to the pool. He chose to take them to the indoor pool since it was open-air and you felt like you were outside, but without the worry of sunscreen and getting burned! Plus, it was very close to bathrooms and the kids loved the dolphin sculpture spraying water and the DJ playing music! I headed to the Spas for a signature facial. Is this family fun?! Absolutely!! French Lick Resort offers families the flexibility to have members enjoying one ammenity while someone gets a break for some pampering. I was greeted and escorted to the changing area and then to the tranquility room of the spa where I enjoyed a tea and some magazines. My spa professional took me back to a calming room and I enjoyed a nearly 1 hour facial that was pure relaxation bliss. It was by far one of the best spa treatments I have ever had. No, it WAS the best! After, I relaxed in the tranquility room a little while longer and had some more tea and an orange while kicking up my feet. Feeling so relaxed, I returned to my family at the pool a very happy mommy!
We headed back to our room to freshen up and change and hit the bowling alley right there in the hotel for pizza and bowling! They also have an arcade right there too. We played a full game of bowling and enjoyed some pizza and strombolis. I was not expecting much from the pizza but was pleasantly surprised to find it had a tasty crust and was pretty darn good! After our family game of bowling, we took a very short stroll to the hostoric French Lick Railway station so the kids could see the trains up close. We didn’t go on an excursion ride, but the trains are all there and they can touch them, climb up on them and go inside of the station. They loved it and we even had to take our son back for one more stroll around the station before heading back to Louisville the next day. We walked back to the hotel and saw many people enjoying the live music out of the porch veranda before retiring for the evening.
We called it a night and awoke and brewed our in-room coffee and got dressed for breakfast. We chose the buffet style dining area because, according to the daily newsletter dropped at our door, they had a kids-eat-free special for kids uner 12! We also read in the lobby that they have a character breakfast. We were pleased with the dining experience, price and the freshness of the food. I loved the chocolate chip waffle made especially for me! The service was also really timely but we didn’t see any of the characters as listed in the lobby. But, we hadn’t told the kids, so they didn’t know any different. After breakfast, we went to the playground and over to the Kids Fest building where they have games, crafts, movie and more. This spot is also where families can rent bikes and surries for outings! The Kids Fest building is staffed and has some scheduled events. But, families can also go in and enjoy the facilities for 1 hour a day free of charge. This was just enough time for my kids to do a craft, play some of the huge connect four, race around with jump ropes and do a little dress up. It was a very nice feature and had our children be over the age of 6, we could have scheduled them for sitting services there and hit the casino!
We took a short stroll over the the shopping area across the street from the hotel and decided it was hot and we wanted to head back to that awesome indoor pool! I pondered letting the kids run around in the outdoor spray fountain in the city square but decided on the lovely pool instead. Off we went, finishing up our trip with one last dip in the pool. We packed up and checked out at noon (extended 1 hour by request). We were able to fuel up for the drive home in a nearby gas station and quickly look at the trains one more time as promised. Everything is very close by and convenient. We also drove around the back of the hotel to see the golf courses and paved trails that you can use for walking or biking. We saw many families riding on those with the surrey bikes!
I think the ideal amount of time would be at least 2 to 3 nights at the resort. French Lick Resort is actually 2 hotels and if you stay at one, you can enjoy the ammenities at both and there are shuttles for your convenience. They also have transportation to Patoka Lake and a long weekend would be fantastic. We didn’t have enough time to head to the West Baden Springs Hotel and see what they had to offer but will make a point of visiting that part of the resort on our next stay. Next time, we will keep an eye on their package deals and take advantage of one for a slightly longer stay.
On the way back to Louisville, on IN-150, we noticed a throw-back type ice cream/burger place called Shakeburger and decided to stop. What a gem! When you head to French Lick, stop there and get a burger and a shake because your car isn’t the only thing that needs fuel!
I hope you all would consider a trip to Fench Lick. Save some gas and don’t go on a long drive to the coast! Head just a little west and enjoy incredible ammenities at this fantastic Indiana resort!