Monday, May 16, 2016

Flo's Guide to French Lick Resort

In the Spring and Summer especially, dogs of all types can be seen walking across property at French Lick Resort. Both the French Lick Springs and West Baden Springs Hotels welcome dogs with open arms because we understand leaving your four-legged friend(s) behind is tough. Why not bring them with you on your next getaway at the pet-friendly French Lick Resort?!

One of our local pet friends, Flo, has the insider tips you and your pet need for your next visit to French Lick Resort. Here are Flo's top spots (and tips) to check out around property.

1. West Baden Springs Hotel Gardens
The grounds here are immaculate--perfect for frolicking and sniffing!
Flo tip: Don't forget to get a picture by the fountain!

2. Front Porch
Both hotels have a welcoming front porch for you and your friends to lounge on while eating an ice cream cone, enjoying a cup of coffee or just relaxing!
Flo tip: If you wag your tail enough and smile at the associates working at Scoops, they will give you a piece of waffle cone for you to enjoy!

3. Trolley
Who doesn't love a complimentary (and historic) lift across property? The trolley operates 365 days a year and takes you to and from the French Lick Springs and West Baden Springs Hotel.
Flo tip: Ask nicely and the conductor will take a photo with you and let you be "conductor" for a ride!

4. Walking trails
With 4 walking trails on property, there are plenty of opportunities to take your buddy out and about and enjoy the beautiful scenery of Southern Indiana.
Flo tip: you'll likely run into other dogs, so be prepared to make new friends!

Thanks for joining Flo on her guide around French Lick Resort! We hope to see you around this summer.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Top 5 Reasons to Have Your Next Meeting or Event at French Lick Resort

When it comes to planning a meeting or event away from your home office, the struggle can be real. Keeping organized with all of the different aspects can make your head spin. Hosting your next event or meeting at French Lick Resort will solve your planning woes! Our Meeting and Event staff is here to make your experience and time with us not only memorable, but worry-free.

We've come up with the top 5 reasons to have your next meeting or event at French Lick Resort.

1. On-site floral & decor professional
Did you know we have full time staff dedicated to bringing you the most beautiful, fresh and breath-taking displays for your event space? Not only do they put together stellar centerpieces, they are here for all of your decor needs! Just another way we make your meeting and event experience here hassle-free.

2. Food displays
Our food and beverage staff is constantly working on something spectacular. Not only are unique food displays an option for your upcoming special occasion, we also offer short classes during your time here! If you're looking for something completely new and fun, our Pastry Manager can delight your group with a dazzling fruit and vegetable carving class.

3. Insta opportunities
We mean it when we say we are one of the most popular photo-worthy spots in Southern Indiana. All across property, from the golf courses, historic hotels to the grounds in between, we are a photographer's delight. Don't forget to tag us in all of your photos you take here with #frenchlick and #traditionslivehere. For more inspiration, check out our Top 10 Insta-Worthy Views on our blog:

4. Group Activities
Have you ever taken part in a Wild West Challenge, Culinary Challenge, Obstacle Course or Amazing Race during a meeting? Well you can get these competitive and fun group activities only at French Lick Resort. Our Activities team is ready to work with you to make whichever activity(s) you choose during your time here custom to you and your groups needs. These are perfect for reunions, too! Check out all of our fun and competitive group activities here:

5. In-house expert technical support
Concerned about technical difficulties? Absolutely no worries here! We have Audio/Visual staff at your service for all of your technical needs!

We could go on and on with other reasons why hosting your next meeting or event at French Lick Resort, but we'll let our Meeting & Event Planning Guide do the rest of the talking. You can view it all here:

Start the tradition with your business, co-workers, family and friends at French Lick Resort because Traditions Live Here.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Now, that's a "Storey"

You know how it is when you get around buddies or best girlfriends. Those inside jokes are born and soon take on a life of their own. Maybe it’s that high school air band that still “tours.” Perhaps it’s that one word conveying so much impact that it results in a classic Hollywood spit-take? Whatever your story, the tale of the Bill Storey Invitational is sure to raise the bar for all of us.

Thirty-six years ago, four guys from southern Illinois sojourned to Jasper, IN where they spent the night. The next day they played 36 holes of golf on the Donald Ross Course at French Lick  then returned to southern Illinois. Tom Gulley, Jeff Troutt, Gary West and Dick Simpson were in that first foursome. These days, they are up to twenty-eight participants from all over the country and a waiting list of guys who want to play in the Bill Storey Invitational. But, what’s the story behind the Storey?

Storey was a contemporary of Tom and Mike Gulley’s, father. He had a personality that became larger than life as his legend grew. Each of his quirks – of which the real Bill Storey had no knowledge, has been caricaturized to formulate the basis of this fun-loving yearly golf match. They have a few drinks, share a few laughs, enjoy a game or two of liar’s poker and play a lot of golf during the first weekend of May. On the course, there are side bets and special rules. And before they knew it, Storey became a legend – with a trophy, bragging rights and small cash prize that goes home with the winner. 

Dr. Mike Gulley (left) and Jake Hunt
Based on accounts of Mr. Storey’s sportsmanship, the rules for the invitational were set. It’s a two man handicap, best ball over 36 holes. Each hole is capped at 10 strokes and there’s a whole lot of “pressing” going on. In order to keep a competitive match, first and third places receive awards while second place takes home bupkis.

These days, Dr. Mike Gulley is the Grand Pooba of the event. He starts around Christmas sending out invitations and taking RSVPs from the guys who now show up from all over the country. They keep coming back year after year for several reasons. It’s about the course, the camaraderie and the guest service. They can play anywhere but choose The Donald Ross at French Lick because, according to Gulley, “it’s a special course with shots and putts not available anywhere else.” Another reason they return is resort staff like, “Dave (Harner), Andy (Fortner), Alex (Whitman), Jan (Tellstrom), Bev (Heath) at Hagen’s, don’t forget Sarah the cart girl.” The resort staff takes care of the Storey players and they’ve built a rapport over the years. Plus it’s about cigars, sunsets and simplicity. If you haven’t watched the sun sink into the western sky from the wrap around veranda at Hagen’s, you haven’t seen a sunset.

If you’d like to start your own invitational, contact French Lick Resort Director of Golf, Dave Harner at 888-936-9360.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

10 Instagram-Worthy Views at French Lick Resort

French Lick Resort has just about everything a photographer loves--scenic views, historic buildings, breath-taking architecture and an incredible array of other amenities. As one of the most popular photo-worthy spots in Southern Indiana, here's a list of the top 10 most Insta-worthy shots you can capture at French Lick Resort. Follow us along on Instagram at @frenchlickresort and be sure to tag your photos around property with #frenchlickresort and #traditionslivehere.

West Baden Springs Hotel Arches
There's nothing quite like arriving at the West Baden Springs Hotel, once named the Eighth Wonder of the World, greeted by these massively historic arches. Don't forget to stop and take our Self-Guided Walking tour while you're walking the grounds of the resort.

West Baden Springs Hotel Gardens
The gardens at West Baden instantly make you feel like royalty. Complete with the original Apollo Spring and walking trails, you'll want to take more than one shot.

West Baden Springs Hotel Atrium
The atrium is truly breath-taking and one of the most, if not THE most, popular photo-worthy spot at French Lick Resort. Complete with comfortable seating, calming music and a fireplace, you'll want to sit down and take this magical moment in as long as you can.

The Veranda at West Baden Springs Hotel
Before you make your way to the gardens, the veranda is a quintessential spot to relax in a rocking chair and enjoy a cup of coffee or ice cream cone and soak in the beauty of the property.

The Trolley at French Lick Resort
The trolley at French Lick Resort first operated in 1903 and its history spans many decades. The winter of 2014 kicked off the new season of the trolley and it is nothing short of amazing. Operating 7am-10pm, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, the trolley at French Lick takes you on a scenic ride to and from French Lick Springs Hotel and West Baden Spring Hotel. 

The Veranda at French Lick Springs Hotel
This has been the central meeting spot at French Lick Resort for decades, complete with rocking chairs, an ice cream shop and the beautiful view of the French Lick Springs Hotel front lawn, this picturesque place is a hopping spot especially when warmer weather hits. You'll want to gather the entire family here during your stay and kick back and relax in history.

French Lick Springs Hotel Lobby
The lobby at French Lick Springs Hotel has a way of taking you back to classic elegance. Better yet, it's just steps away from shopping outlets and fine and casual dining outlets.

The Gardens at French Lick Springs Hotel
Walking through these gardens is the cherry on top of a nice stroll across property. Complete with Pluto Spring, which used to be the bottling house to bottle Pluto Water--the ever famous laxative natural water product from the early 20th century. 

The Donald Ross Course at French Lick Resort
This classic course designed by iconic architect Donald Ross, underwent a $5 million restoration in collaboration with the Donald Ross Society. Complete with Hagen's Clubhouse, you can enjoy a delicious meal and drink while enjoying arguably one of the best spots to catch a sunset on property after playing a round with your friends and family. Any day year round, you can catch a stunning view.

The Stables
Nestled behind the West Baden Springs Hotel, The Stables at French Lick Resort is home to 27 horses who have all been carefully selected and trained by our Stables Manager. Scenic horseback riding trails, carriage rides and pony rides are all available. There's something to do for everyone (and horse and pony photo opportunities abound)!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Siblings Reunited at West Baden Springs Hotel

Charlie Wonnell anxiously awaits
the arrival of his siblings. 
The suspense was killing Charlie Wonnell; he was giddy with excitement and a bundle of nerves all at the same time. Just a week and a half ago he had made contact with his long lost brother and sister and now they were minutes away from joining him at the West Baden Springs Hotel. This was the moment he had imagined for 49 years.

The trio was taken away from their parents in 1967 when they were preschoolers and put in an orphanage. Oldest sister Susan (just five years old at the time) remembers being fiercely protective of her younger brothers and feeling like she needed to become the mother figure.

The siblings believed they would be kept together. Their hearts were broken as they were each adopted out to different families. Charlie was the first to go and his new family moved him to the West Coast.

He always remembered Tommy and Susan and, in fact, named his own children after them.  He looked for the pair for years but, with a birth name of Johnson, he kept running into roadblocks. It all changed when he tried’s new DNA testing. He didn’t get an immediate hit but made connections with some third cousins and a woman he calls “an angel” who jumped into help.  The real break came when they found a post Susan had left on an adoption website way back in 2009.

The group didn’t waste any time; they immediately made plans to meet up just a week later. Charlie, who frequents the resort, knew it would be an ideal place to host the homecoming. The resort has always been a special place for his family and he wanted to share it with them. It turns out Tommy lives just a few hours away and Susan flew in from New Jersey.

The moment the siblings are reunited after 49 years.

There wasn’t a dry eye in the house as the group converged in the expansive atrium. With video cameras rolling and flashes going off right and left, they ran towards each other and immediately embraced in a group hug.

The group had a lot of catching up to do.

After the initial shock wore off, it was time to share updates. After all, they had missed out on nearly 50 years of each other’s lives. They talked about everything from kids and careers to their memories of their time spent together.

Charlie summed up the experience best, “It’s like winning the Powerball.”

What a great looking family!

  For a video version of this story please go to:


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Become French Lick Resort's Featured Spring Break Family!

Planning a trip to French Lick Resort during Spring Break? You may be chosen for a complimentary trip! Simply explain why your family should be the ideal “French Lick Resort Spring Break Family” in a 2 minute or less video. Upload the video to your personal YouTube account and then share the link on French Lick Resort’s Facebook page. Facebook fans will vote for their favorite after the top three videos are chosen by the resort’s marketing team. The winner will receive a two night stay at French Lick Springs Hotel, FootGolf credit, stables credit, Kids+Passes, carriage ride up to four and your choice of KidsFest activities.

The winning family will be greeted upon arrival with a video camera and the family will record their favorite aspects of their spring break vacation. That video will be shared via the resort’s Facebook page once the family has returned all camera equipment and departed from French Lick Resort.

The deadline for this video contest is February 19th. The winner will be announced February 26.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Ramers' Love Affair

This isn’t a typical love story. Yes, it is about the love that two people share with each other, but it goes far beyond that. It’s about the steadfast commitment and love shared between a couple and “their” hotel.

“French Lick is our place. Oh yes, other people are there when we are, but, to us, it is our place.”

Let’s start at the beginning. The date is February 14, 1979. A newly married bride and groom, evidenced by the white gown, tuxedo and post-wedding glow they’re wearing, walk hand-in-hand through French Lick Springs Hotel. They make their way to the bowling alley and decide to play a game of pool. Just imagine, in a room behind the bowling alley bar, a man and a woman dressed to the nines drinking champagne, laughing over a friendly game of pool and dreaming of possibilities of things to come. That’s when the love affair with French Lick was born.

That bride and groom are David and Becky Ramer. They chose to honeymoon at French Lick Springs Hotel because they wanted an escape that wasn’t too far away from their southern Indiana home. They ended their three-day getaway with a vow that they would return every year on Valentine’s Day to celebrate their anniversary.

35 years later, that vow hasn’t been broken once – not even the year the hotel was closed for renovations.
“We thought about bringing sleeping bags and just camping out on the front lawn for Valentine’s Day and night, but February weather did not make that thought too appealing,” said Becky.

Instead, they paid an obligatory visit to the hotel and invited some of their hotel staff friends out to dinner to repay them for their service over the years.

The staff is one of the reasons why the Ramers continue to come back to French Lick Springs Hotel. The years pass, but the names, faces and relationships are never forgotten.

They recall one February when a heavy snow blanketed French Lick and their car got stuck. Roman Mayrina, a food and beverage manager, came out coatless in his uniform and dress shoes with a shovel in hand to dig them out. Whether it was outstanding and thoughtful service by Woodrow David and Carissa Miller, history lessons and long conversations in the bowling alley bar with Marilyn Kessler or sharing annual holiday cards with Robert Stiger and Sam Townsley, the relationships that have developed over the years are truly special.

“I have 20 years of service and memories with them. We have guests that come every year around the same time, and I begin looking forward to the Ramer’s February visit when January rolls around,” said Carissa Miller. “It brings a smile to my face just thinking about them.”

Of course, the Ramers get asked why they don’t visit other places for their anniversary.

“The simple answer we have is that French Lick is where we’re supposed to be and want to be on Valentine’s Day,” said David. “It’s important to us because it has been the anchor of our marriage. The annual pilgrimage to a romantic, elegant place of renewal of love and relationship is what is important.”

Over the years, there have been Valentine’s Day dinners at 1875: The Steakhouse, mornings spent in the lobby reading the paper and people watching, and jewelry presented at dinner. They have visited on years when there were less than 20 guests in the hotel and years when business was booming.

Although the time has passed, the Ramer’s commitment to those vows they took 35 years ago has been unwavering. “When our time on this earth is done, we sure hope there’s a place for us in Heaven like French Lick,” said the Ramers.