By Roger Cox, Editor
This 3,000-acre resort in what is now the Hoosier National Forest of southwestern Indiana, 58 miles from Louisville, grew up around the mineral-rich springs from which it takes its name. French traders settled in this valley more than 200 years ago, making it one of the earliest outposts of midwestern settlement. The first hotel—a ramshackle, three-story frame building—was built in the 1830s and became an immediate success as people from hundreds of miles around flocked into "take the waters." That hotel and its additions burned to the ground in 1897, but was replaced by a new lodge, golf course, and luxurious spa, all of which has subsequently been upgraded but remain the core of the modern resort.
An recent infusion of some $500 million dramatically expanded what French Lick Resort has to offer, merging historic restoration with a casino development project. Today, the resort consists of the West Baden Springs Hotel—a National Historic Landmark built in 1902—the French Lick Springs Hotel, and the new French Lick Casino. Guests of its 689 total rooms and suites can look forward to a 42,000-square-foot, single-level casino; 45 holes of golf—including the fully restored 1917-designed Donald Ross Course and the new, 18-hole Pete Dye Course (opening Spring 2009), both at French Lick—four indoor hard courts (free to guests; however, there is not on-site pro), two full-service spas totaling 42,000 square feet, 115,000 square feet of meeting and event space, and an array of dining and entertainment options. If you have firsthand experience about vacationing there, please rate French Lick Resort and provide your own critique.
Rates on request.
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©2016 Roger Cox