French Lick/West Baden Resort an Indiana Marvel

Earlier this week, the French Lick Resort served as host for the Association of State Chamber Professionals (ASCP) annual meeting. I had the privilege of being asked to attend the conference and speak on social media, so, while I had been to the casino before, this was my first opportunity to stay at the hotel as a guest and truly explore it.

As a fan of history — especially Indiana history — I believe both the French Lick and West Baden facilities serve as living monuments and tributes to the very best of Hoosier history and lore. In fact, I invite you to learn more about both French Lick and West Baden Springs via the resort’s web site and learn some pretty remarkable facts. For example, how many people know this site played such a significant role in FDR launching his candidacy for President in 1931?

What’s more, it should be noted that ASCP generally targets some of America’s most scenic destinations, with the past two meetings landing at Bar Harbor, Maine and Greenbrier, West Virginia. So I pretty overtly asked most of the colleagues I interacted with what they thought of French Lick. I received nary a negative remark, with "amazing" being the most consistent adjective used.

If you live in Indiana or the region and have yet to experience this, take a day or two and indulge in one of the state’s most ornate, yet endearing gems — not to mention an amazing golf destination and concert venue.

West Baden Hotel Earns National Recognition

Do you enjoy the awe-inspiring architecture and amenities of the West Baden Hotel in Southern Indiana? If so, you’re not alone. See how Conde Nast Traveler readers have honored the Indiana resort:

Condé Nast Traveler readers have chosen West Baden Springs Hotel for the magazine’s 22nd Annual Readers Choice Awards.

In the November 2009 issue, on newsstands now, the Southern Indiana destination is ranked 15th in the list of large U.S. (Mainland) resorts, an impressive six places higher than its 2008 ranking.

The atrium of the West Baden Springs Hotel With a score of 89.9 (only 2.9 points away from 2nd place), West Baden outranked 55 other well-known resorts when it was evaluated on activities/facilities, food/dining, location, overall design, rooms and service.

This year, 25,008 readers voted for more than 10,000 properties and destinations. "

The big news is that, undaunted by tough times, our readers are still out there, discovering the coolest experiences and reaffirming an enduring passion for travel," said Conde Nast Traveler Editor in Chief Klara Glowczewska. "It’s clear that our readers are as devoted to the worldwide diversity of travel as ever."

Originally built in 1902, West Baden Springs Hotel re-opened in May 2007, following a meticulous restoration. Nearly 100 million dollars was spent in a top-to-bottom restoration, which maintained the historic integrity of the building, but upgraded its amenities to that of a four star property. "

Last year we were thrilled to be included in the Reader’s Choice awards and on the magazine’s Gold List," said Mark Bommarito, vice president of sales and marketing. "To be back this year and with a higher ranking shows the resort’s commitment to offering a quality experience year after year."

West Baden is a part of the French Lick Resort, which as a whole has undergone a 500 million dollar restoration and development project. In what has been called one of the largest private restoration projects in the U.S., the Cook Group saved two turn-of-the-century grand hotels and brought resort life back to Indiana. No small feat, their work has been recognized by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

With the opening of the Pete Dye Course earlier this spring, French Lick Resort is quickly becoming America’s most talked about golf destinations. Located on a hilltop behind the historic French Lick Springs Hotel – one of the highest points in Indiana – Dye’s masterpiece offers stunning panoramic views of over 30 miles. The course will be the site of the 2010 PGA Professional National Championship.