Monday, March 23, 2015

Girlfriends' Getaway Guide

Looking to be transported to a different world for a much-needed girlfriend’s getaway? No need to go across the pond for a luxurious escape; instead, take a short drive and revel in the perfect combination of old-world luxury and modern comforts at French Lick Resort.
For over 100 years, women (and men) have been coming to the resort community to soak in the benefits of the local mineral waters.
The strong spa tradition continues today with a pair of world-class spas on property. Consistently ranked as one of the Top 270 Spas by the readers of Condé Nast Traveler, The Spas at French Lick Resort provide the perfect excuse to grab your girlfriends and get out of town. Add in two historic hotels, a Vegas-style casino, boutique shops and so much more, French Lick Resort has everything needed for some quality time away.
Once everyone has agreed on a date, next on the agenda is choosing a hotel. Just like your girlfriends, the hotels have two different personalities.
With a classic American feel, French Lick Springs Hotel offers a lively environment with plenty to do.
Take the trolley between the two hotels.
Just a mile down the road – or a 15 minute (free!) ride on the restored trolley – sits West Baden Springs Hotel. With its European-influenced architecture and ambience, West Baden exudes luxury.  
A spa visit is a must-do when you visit the resort named 2013’s Best Historic Resort by Historic Hotels of America. Regardless of which hotel you stay in, you have the choice of booking appointments at either The Spa at West Baden or The Spa at French Lick – each offering a little bit of their own flavor.
The pedicure room at The Spa at French Lick
Offering the best in classic American sophistication and leisure, tranquility is redefined at the 27,000 sq. ft. Spa at French Lick. Going far beyond the treatments themselves, the experience is truly enhanced by the large-scale contemporary art exhibition gracing the walls. The picturesque pedicure room, with its beautiful stained glass windows, is a divine setting for catching up on the latest gossip. After your pedicure, it’s massages for everyone before reconvening in the relaxation room.

The Spa at West Baden
The Spa at West Baden seamlessly blends refined luxury and European elegance for a one-of-a-kind experience. Indulge in signature treatments, such as a Sprudel bath or West Baden facial, or go all-in with a packages of services called Rituals. Your pampering doesn’t have to end when you leave the spa.  You can take a piece of the spa experience home. The handmade Éminence Organic Skin Care products from Hungary, used in the spa facials, are a guest favorite.
Follow these five steps to experience the ultimate girlfriends' getaway at French Lick Resort:
  1. Make sure to pack your dress and heels for an upscale dinner at 1875: The Steakhouse. Named in honor of the date of the very first Kentucky Derby, this restaurant, with an open kitchen and views of the gardens, is the perfect place for a fancy night out with friends. The baked lobster mac 'n cheese is a popular indulgence.
  2. Swing by the Power Plant Bar and Grill on Friday and Saturday nights to catch live music by SIREN with Sarah Stivers - a smooth-sounding quartet playing disco, pop and everything in between. Grab some drinks and dance and sing the night away!
  3. The natatorium at West Baden Springs Hotel
    There's no better way to start your morning than with a relaxing massage or facial at The Spa at West Baden. Reconvene with your girlfriends by the pool - in the lower level of the spa- for some quality lounge time with friends.
  4. Brunch is always a girls' weekend must-do. For a sophisticated brunch location, try Café at Sinclair's. Choice range from fluffy buttermilk pancakes to a savory quiche Lorraine.
  5. Experience wine tasting in a one-of-a-kind way - in the atrium at West Baden Springs Hotel. For a classic wine pairings experience, you'll taste American and European wine presentations paired with five courses of hors d'oeuvres.

Wine tasting in the atrium

No matter which hotel you choose, what spa treatments you treat yourself to or what activities you take part in, your girls group is bound to experience the long-standing tradition of rest, relaxation and rejuvenation that has drawn people to French Lick Resort for more than a century.

Monday, March 9, 2015

One Tank Trip Idea: Spring Break at French Lick Resort

Whether its memories of a cramped car with annoying siblings or the 8mm “movie version” of a loving family bonding over iconic family vacations, no one can deny the worst part of road trips were the long hours in the car.

S'mores by the Pool
With its endless array of activities, the southern Indiana destination’s version of spring break could be described as a family camp experience (minus the tents). There are old school yard games like capture the flag and dodgeball; all ages activities such as family karaoke, renegade bowling and tricky golf as well as physical challenges like an obstacle course and even a duathlon (bikes provided). 
Mom & Me Tea
 How cool would it be to take your child to their first “grown-up” tea party and one they will never forget in of the most surreal locations? Mom & Me Teas are held every Wednesday underneath the world-famous West Baden Springs Hotel dome. New this year, Cookies & Canvas allows moms and dads to work side-by-side with their budding Picasso and the whole family will love the entertaining magic of Michael Principato.      

Cookies & Canvas
Situated in the heart of the Hoosier National Forest, the resort is a great getaway for outdoor enthusiasts.  An 8-mile trail system features areas for hikers and mountain bikers alike. Guests can also explore the resort’s 3,000 acres by hitching a ride on one of our three dozen horses on property. Nearby Patoka Lake and area caves offer plenty of recreational opportunities as well.

We realize that mom and dad may need some alone time too. Three championship golf courses and two world-class spas provide plenty of opportunities to relax and re-charge. By signing up for the supervised KidsFest activities, held daily in the lodge, parents can enjoy themselves while their little ones are safely supervised and having fun.

Spring Break at French Lick Resort runs from March 11 to April 11, 2015. A complete schedule is available on the website

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Historic Trolley Dedicated; Full Service Begins December 18

Beginning in 1903, old Number One ran the one mile trolley track between the southern Indiana resort towns of French Lick and West Baden... linking the two grand hotels.
With the advent of the automobile, the trolley went away in 1919. A restored version of Old Number One officially returned to the tracks today at French Lick Resort and once again is making the run between the magnificent West Baden and French Lick Hotels.
Today was the culmination of a seven year historic preservation project funded by the Cook Group, owners of French Lick Resort. The trolley will become fully operational for public use by December 18. The complimentary service will run from 6am-10pm every day of the year.
Number One gets christened
Motormen Marvin Pinnick poses near the trolley

Number One Motormen
From Left to right: Darrell King; Jan Tellstrom, Sam Ray,
Sheryl Yeadon, Oral Carnes Junior; Larry Kidwell,
Sharon Pinnick; Marvin Pinnick and Steve Hall


The iconic West Baden Springs Hotel arches flank the trolley

The trolleypulls into the West Baden Springs Hotel

Master Carpenter Dan Ping; Project Manager Alan Beck
and Mechanic Andy Schwenk on the big day


Friday, November 21, 2014

50 Days of Lights; a French Lick Resort Tradition

French Lick Resort is getting ready for the 2014 holiday season with an array of activities that will suit guests both young and old. From November 21-January 10, the resort celebrates 50 Days of Lights  there’s an activity that each member of the family can enjoy – live music, story time with Mrs. Claus, holiday movie favorites and, of course, plenty of opportunities to tell Santa what you’d like for Christmas. It all begins with Santa and Mrs. Claus kicking off the holiday season with the resort’s annual tree-lighting ceremonies.  

Every year, people come from far and wide to see the turn-of-the-century hotels and their grounds aglow with holiday magic of their own using over half a million twinkling lights inside and out. Planning the layout for all the decorations begins months in advance and doesn’t stop until every light strand and ornament has found its rightful place. By November, more than 30 Christmas trees, countless wreaths of all sizes, miles of garland, dozens of poinsettias and plenty of bows will be on display throughout the resort.

A holiday favorite, the gingerbread house has grown a foot from last year’s and gained three new additions. A front porch made of pretzel rods and Fruit Roll-Ups, a doghouse with Hershey’s chocolate bar siding and an adorable puppy named Lulu made of rice crispy treats and toasted coconut shavings add to this year’s Gingerbread Land. This year’s design features gingerbread and granola bar siding, poured sugar windows with gingerbread window boxes, spiral lollipop and fruit slices flowers, Oreo cookie crumb dirt and Airhead shutters. The edible candy creation is located in the Gingerbread Land display in the Events Center at French Lick Springs Hotel, or you can see how this year’s house was made with our web series Inside the Gingerbread House.

With a range of holiday activities offered and the elaborately decorated hotels, French Lick Resort makes a great family holiday destination. Guests can visit between November 21 and January 11 to experience how French Lick Resort celebrates Christmas with our 50 Days of Lights celebration. A complete schedule is listed below.

Tree Lighting Weekend
November 21 - 23
7pm – 7:45pm • Springs Valley Elementary Choir
French Lick Springs Hotel • Front Lawn
7pm -7:45pm • Tree Lighting Ceremony
French Lick Springs Hotel • Front Lawn
8pm – 9pm • Meet & Greet with Santa & Mrs. Claus
Event Center • 2nd Level
8pm – 10pm • Holiday Arts & Crafts Fair
Event Center • Windsor Ballroom

11am – 8pm • Holiday Arts & Crafts Fair
Event Center • Windsor Ballroom
5:30pm – 6pm • Sing-a-Long with Sarah Stivers
West Baden Springs Hotel • Atrium
6pm – 7pm • Sisters of St. Benedict
West Baden Springs Hotel • Atrium
7pm • Tree Lighting Ceremony
West Baden Springs Hotel • Atrium
7pm – 9pm • Brass Quintet
West Baden Springs Hotel • Atrium

10am – 2pm • Holiday Arts & Crafts Fair
Event Center • Windsor Ballroom

Thanksgiving Weekend
November 27-29

10:30am – 2pm • Thanksgiving Brunch
$55 Adults • $24.95 Children 5 – 10 • FREE 4 and younger
French Lick Springs Hotel • 1875: The Steakhouse
Reservations Required 812-936-9300
11am – 5pm • Thanksgiving Buffet
$35 Adults • $16 Children 5 – 12 • FREE 4 and younger
French Lick Springs Hotel • Windsor Ballroom
Reservations Required 812-936-9300
12pm – 5pm • Thanksgiving Activities
Event Center • Clifton Ballroom
Holiday movies, puzzles, books, table football,
ping pong, putt-putt, bocce ball, football, basketball,
trivia, Name that Song, scavenger hunt and Pop Noggins

1pm – 4pm • Family Photos
Event Center • Clifton Foyer

1pm – 7pm • Thanksgiving Dinner
$58 Adults, $16 Children 5 - 12 • FREE 4 and younger
West Baden Springs Hotel • Atrium
Reservations Required 812-936-5579

12pm – 9pm • Great Family Time
Event Center • Windsor Ballroom
Bounce houses, Pop Noggins, movies, ping pong and trivia

12pm • Guided Hike
French Lick Springs Hotel • Meet at KidsFest Lodge

2pm • Geocache
French Lick Springs Hotel • Meet on Veranda

4pm – 4:30pm • Pet Parade
French Lick Springs Hotel • Lobby
Bring your four-legged family member and march through the hotel and Event Center

5pm – 6pm • Holiday Sing-A-Long
French Lick Springs Hotel • Lobby

9am – 9pm • Great Family Time
Event Center • Windsor Ballroom
Bounce houses, Pop Noggins, movies, ping pong and trivia

4pm – 5pm • Kickball for All
French Lick Springs Hotel Front Lawn

Holiday Activities
November 22 – December 21


7:30pm – 7:45pm • Mrs. Claus Meet and Greet
French Lick Springs Hotel • Lobby

8pm – 9pm • Story Time & Cookie Decorating with Mrs. Claus
Event Center • Habig Room
Location on December 5 is the Murdock Room

9pm – 11pm • Holiday Movie
Event Center • Habig Room
Location on December 5 is the Murdock Room
November 21 • Frozen
December 5 • How the Grinch Stole Christmas
December 12 • Polar Express
December 19 • I’ll Be Home for Christmas

11am – 12pm • Holiday Choir
West Baden Springs Hotel • Atrium (Not available December 13)

1:30pm – 2:30pm • Holiday Choir
French Lick Springs Hotel • Lobby
November 22 • Orleans Jr./Sr. High School Choir

November 29 • Springs Valley Jr./Sr. High School Choir

December 6 • Orange County Players

December 13 • Kentucky Youth Chorale
11am – 12pm and 1:30pm – 2:30pm • French Lick Springs Hotel

December 20 • Washington High School Choir

Special Performance • December 20
1pm – 2pm • Sandy Flick & Rex Hinkle

West Baden Springs Hotel • Atrium
3pm – 4pm • Sandy Flick & Rex Hinkle
French Lick Springs Hotel • Lobby

2pm – 5pm • Dickens’ Carolers
West Baden Springs Hotel • Atrium
*Not available December 13

2pm – 5pm • Photos with Santa
$5 per photo • Event Center • 2nd Level

8pm – 9pm • Story Time & Cookie Decorating with Mrs. Claus
Event Center • Habig Room

9pm – 11pm • Holiday Movie
Event Center • Habig Room
November 22 • The Santa Clause
November 29 • Elf
December 6 • Frozen
December 13 • Christmas with the Kranks
December 20 • The Santa Clause

8am – 11am • Hot Chocolate with Santa
French Lick Springs Hotel • Grand Colonnade Restaurant
Christmas Dinners
6pm - 9pm • December 19 - 26
West Baden Springs Hotel • Sinclair’s
$75 • Reservations Required 812-936-5579

6pm – 9pm • December 24 - 26
French Lick Springs Hotel • 1875: The Steakhouse
Seasonal Menu • Reservations Required 812-936-9300

Family WinterFest

December 26 – December 31
Valley Links & Golf Learning Center

Friday • 10am – 9pm
Saturday • 10am – 9pm
Sunday • 10am – 7pm
Monday • 10am – 7pm
Tuesday • 10am – 7pm
Wednesday • 10am – 5pm

New Year’s Eve
December 31
6pm – 1am • Time for a Change New Year’s Eve Celebration
Packages starting at $489
French Lick Springs Hotel • Event Center
Reservations Required 888-936-9360
6pm – 1am • New Year’s Eve Party for Kids
$25 per child (ages 6-12 years old)
Valley Links & Golf Learning Center
Resort guests only • Reservations Required 888-936-9360
Holiday games, crafts, movies, pizza and bounce houses
7:30pm – 1am • All That Jazz New Year’s Eve Gala
Packages starting at $599
West Baden Springs Hotel • Atrium
Reservations Required 888-936-9360

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Inside the French Lick Resort Gingerbread House

The French Lick Resort gingerbread house is a star attraction when Santa is in town.
How it comes together is fascinating... and this year we're going to take you inside the process as it evolves.

Friday, October 31, 2014

The Singer is In

When Sarah Stivers says, “Hey do you know this one? Sing it with me,” she often gets an all-out chorus going. Mustang Sally and other songs of the 50s and 60s beg for audience participation. Fun groups move the furniture and make room for dancing – encouraged by the tall attractive brunette with the microphone.  Stivers engages a packed house every weekend in the Power Plant Bar & Grill.

Sarah and the guys will play a jazz standard such as How High the Moon followed by Little Big Town’s Pontoon. She definitely knows how to work the room and keep the crowd entertained with her clean, clear, sexy sound. Her smooth delivery transcends genres.

“You cats ready to get started?” she asks the musicians and they launch into Teach Me Tonight. To the audience, “Where y’all from?” she says letting her Louisville dialect ooze. Sarah makes the spotlight look easy, but in reality she puts a lot of effort into laying out charts, selecting musicians, energizing the crowd and orchestrating (pardon the pun) every detail.

Occasional shows became a standing gig that grew into her own booking agency. But her dream of going to medical school called. In 2010, she enrolled and the prerequisite classes for non-traditional students did not keep her attention. In the evenings, she was booking gigs instead of hitting the books. The week before the next term began she knew what her decision had to be. She contacted the school and said “give my spot to someone else.” Sarah could have easily been working on her bedside manner instead of her stage presence. 

Beyond performing in the West Baden Springs Hotel atrium in the afternoons and the Power Plant at night, she schedules all resort entertainment from jazz in the library to a 1920s trio on the veranda. It’s her unwavering professionalism, attention to detail and organization that would have served her equally well as a physician, but we’re happy her office is here.



 Kristie Smith

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Why I'm Excited About The Four Tops Coming to French Lick Resort this Saturday Night

I worked my way through school spinning the hits on the radio. That’s when I fell in love with the Motown sound.  The Four Tops ARE the Motown sound. The Temptations put on a great Motown show here in 2012. And now we have the Four Tops! Life is good.

Consider this:

  1. Four Tops founding member Duke Fakir is marking 60 years in show biz and still going strong.  He’s a piece of living history and we get to see him perform.
  2. Current Top Lawrence Payton Jr. is the son of a founding member.  The original Tops were together for 44 years.  It’s in Jr’s genes.
  3. This is the 50th anniversary of the Four Tops first hit:  “Baby I Need Your Loving.”  The next year they hit #1 for the first time with “Sugar Pie Honey Bunch.”  Talk about timeless.
  4. The Four Tops have 23 Top 10 hits.  That’s right, 23!!! 
  5. The Four Tops are in Rock & Roll Hall of Fame… as they should be. 
  6. The Four Tops are Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award Winners.  No question about that, either.
  7. And how about this:  The Four Tops did a song with one of my other favorite all-time bands doing the background work.  The Moody Blues.  “A Simple Game” made it to #3 on the UK charts in 1972.  Here’s a link: 

I'll scratch another one off my "must see" band bucket list when The Four Tops play French Lick Resort this Saturday.

Steve Rondinaro