Five ways to celebrate a couples getaway (or your growing brood) at this Midwest resort
This year the stars aligned and I was very pregnant at the same time Mr. Yoder’s work conference was at The French Lick Resort! This same place was a touchy subject since he texted me photos of the beautiful lobby way back in 2014 – How dare he enjoy luxurious digs when I was home trying to manage 3 children aged 4 and under? Pictures alone made me dreamily consider a stay at one of the romantic resorts and I made him pinky swear that the next time he had a work commitment at French Lick- that I was ALSO invited.
Packed with big expectations (and an even bigger belly) – our Babymoon at French Lick Resort did not disappoint.
French Lick Resort is made up of two hotels, two spas, and a casino. The French Lick Springs Hotel is in the town of French Lick and the West Baden Springs Hotel is a mile down the road in the town of West Baden. A shuttle or trolley runs between the resorts, allowing visitors to one to receive the best of both worlds.
And while the Babymoon is a new(ish) concept, babies or no babies, people have been coming to this area for over 100 years! In fact, the French Lick Resort was built in 1845 while the current West Baden Springs Hotel was constructed in 1902! Travelers originally found their way to this remote part of Indiana as part of a wellness program aimed at the special mineral waters of the on-site springs! No joke, these waters were sold up until the 1970s, when it was determined that they contained a little too much lithium. Yikes!
The resorts have changed hands over the years, but they continue to survive and thrive. Many come here to play a round of golf or gamble some money. We aren’t golfers OR gamblers (unless you count adding a fourth child to our household), but we found plenty to keep us busy and plenty of time to relax!
Without further ado, here are 5 things to do on your Babymoon or romantic getaway to the French Lick Resort.
Disclaimer: I was provided with 1 spa service, 1 meal, the carriage ride, and Afternoon Tea by the French Lick Resort and Visit French Lick West Baden. As usual, all opinions are my own.
Visit the Spa
Every mom-to-be could use some relief from an aching back and tired feet. And maybe even better, dad gets a break from the chore. While both hotels offer a spa, The West Baden Spa is exemplary – it was given a World Luxury Spa Award in both 2011 and 2014.
Each visitor to the spa is provided with a robe and slippers and then allowed to spend time in the Tranquility Room while waiting for the appointment.
Thankfully, the West Baden Spa offers a prenatal massage! I had one during another pregnancy and was forced to lie on my side the entire time, so imagine how happy I was to find that the West Baden Spa offers a giant pillow with a cut-out for the bump so that mamas can lay on their stomachs! I can’t tell you how much I wanted to leave with that pillow (unfortunately, there was definitely no more room under my robe, LOL).
If you plan on visiting either spa, don’t wait until arriving at the resort. Book well in advance!
Share your dreams (or a treat) on the front porch of the French Lick Hotel
My favorite place at this Midwestern Resort was the front porch of the French Lick Springs Hotel. This porch is filled with plenty of rocking chairs and wicker furniture to spend a lazy afternoon day-dreaming and people-watching.
What’s even more convenient? The French Lick Mercantile is adjacent to the porch and offers coffee and ice cream! You don’t have to go far for a treat!
Take a carriage ride around the West Baden Springs Hotel
Can you have a romantic getaway without a carriage ride? Questionable. Mr. Yoder and I enjoyed a 40-minute ride around the West Baden property while Tim (our driver) and Jimmy (our reluctant horse) led the way.
Our only complaint was that we arrived after a rainstorm and the mosquitoes found us to be sitting ducks. Tim was armed with bug spray, but I wasn’t comfortable using it with being pregnant! I’d left my all-natural bug spray at home! So, after you call and book the carriage ride, make sure you place your favorite bug spray in your bag!
Currently. carriage rides are only available at the West Baden Springs Resort on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 5-10 pm.
Eat, eat, and eat some more!
French Lick offers some great dining options, and not just at the resort, make sure you walk to downtown! Our favorite options in the village of French Lick were 33 Brick Street – a sports bar that pays homage to local Larry Bird. If hubby likes basketball or burgers, this is the place to take him!
For more ice cream options, we loved the fresh waffle cones and friendly service at French Licks!
Our favorite French Lick Resort Restaurant was The Power Plant Bar & Grill. The large electrical switchboard that once powered French Lick Springs Hotel adorns the one entire wall of this bar & grill! It felt very Downton Abbey-ish to me! Food is simple pub fare, but yummy.
For the couples looking for more upscale eateries, French Lick and West Baden Springs Hotels offer numerous fine dining options. We decided to forego the superior options for more budget-friendly meals.
Take a walking tour of West Baden Springs Hotel, then have Tea for Two
It’s hard to make me happier than combining history and food! One million bonus points if it’s fancy food that I don’t have to cook or clean up after! The Afternoon Tour & Tea does just that, by providing a tour of the West Baden Springs Hotel & grounds and then offering a delicious afternoon tea.
The tour of West Baden Springs, given by Indiana Landmarks, shares insight into what the original tourists came here for – the healing properties of the mineral waters. Travelers didn’t just check-in for a few days, most stayed for 6-10 weeks and were put on a wellness regime. As previously mentioned, the water is no longer consumed, and most of the wells were covered up by the Jesuits when a monastery took over the property in 1934.
The centerpiece of the West Baden Springs Hotel is the huge atrium. It’s hard to believe that this massive structure was built in just 277 days and designed to be fireproof. (The original structure burnt to the ground in 1901). There are 24 columns holding up the atrium and each one weighs 4.5 tons. Imagine building this before modern machinery!
View this post on Instagram
Which one is rounder?! ?? #dontanswer When I knew we were headed to @frenchlickresort for our Babymoon, I knew I had to grab this photo to compare! ? Fact: The West Baden Springs Hotel was the largest enclosed dome in the world from 1902 until the Houston Astrodome was built in 1965!? Even more impressive, the hotel was built in only 277 days! My next travel goal: to stay in one of the atrium balcony rooms during Christmastime, when a huge tree (not a pregnant lady) adorns the middle of the atrium. ? . @frenchlickresort #westbaden #myfrenchlick #frenchlickresort #h2gindiana #visitIndiana #babymoon #pregnant #bumpshot #midwestmoment #mwtravel
After 70 minutes of learning about the historic hotel, our Tea service was ready. Serenaded by a harpist, and surrounded by fresh flowers, we enjoyed our first ever Afternoon Tea.
The food offerings were all delicious. The scones with fresh jam & cream were my favorite. We also had excellent service.
Sadly, partaking in Afternoon Tea was the end of our romantic getaway at French Lick. To be honest, I didn’t want to leave. If you give a mother 48 hours of luxury and quiet and uninterrupted porch sitting, it’s going to be hard to draw her away! But alas, Ohio beckoned us back with happy memories of our Babymoon.
Are you hoping to visit the French Lick Resort? Planning a Babymoon? What else would you like to know?
Indiana seems to be our getaway spot. Here’s another Kid-Free Vacation we took in Southern Indiana.