The West Baden Hotel is a historic landmark in French Lick, Indiana that has been restored to its former glory.Built in 1902, the hotel boasts a stunning atrium, luxurious amenities, and a fascinating history.In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at the West Baden Hotel, its history, amenities, and what makes it a must-visit destination.
History Of The West Baden Hotel
Construction And Early Years
The West Baden Hotel, located in Indiana, USA, has a rich history that dates back to the early 1900s. The construction of the hotel began in 1901 and was completed in just two years, in 1903. The hotel was designed by Harrison Albright, an architect known for his innovative designs.
During its early years, the West Baden Hotel was a popular destination for wealthy guests who were looking for a luxurious retreat. The hotel boasted over 700 rooms, making it one of the largest hotels in the world at the time. The hotel also had several amenities, including a casino, a golf course, and a spa.
The construction of the hotel was no easy feat. The building was constructed using steel and concrete, which was a new technique at the time. The dome, which is the most notable feature of the hotel, was constructed using 250 tons of steel and 4,000 panes of glass. The dome spans over 200 feet and is one of the largest free-spanning domes in the world.
Despite its grandeur, the hotel faced financial difficulties during the Great Depression and was eventually closed in 1932. The hotel was used as a seminary for the Society of Jesus until 1964 when it was sold to a private owner.
Over the years, the hotel changed hands several times and underwent several renovations. In 2007, the hotel was purchased by the French Lick Resort and underwent a $500 million restoration, restoring it to its former glory. Today, the West Baden Hotel is a National Historic Landmark and continues to attract visitors from all over the world.
Decline And Abandonment
The West Baden Hotel was once known as the “Eighth Wonder of the World” due to its magnificent dome and luxurious amenities. However, after several decades of success, the hotel suffered a decline that ultimately led to its abandonment.
One of the main reasons for the decline of the West Baden Hotel was the Great Depression. The economic downturn caused a significant decrease in tourism, leading to financial struggles for the hotel. Additionally, the hotel’s original owner, Lee Sinclair, passed away in 1930, leaving behind a management void that was difficult to fill.
The outbreak of World War II also had a negative impact on the hotel’s business. Travel restrictions and a shortage of supplies made it difficult for the hotel to operate at full capacity. As a result, the hotel was forced to close its doors in 1932.
After the hotel closed, it sat abandoned for several years. The once-grand building fell into disrepair, with many of its furnishings and fixtures sold off or stolen. The hotel’s iconic dome was even used for target practice by soldiers during the war.
In the 1960s, the property was purchased by a group of investors who attempted to revive the hotel. However, their efforts were unsuccessful, and the hotel remained closed until 1991.
Today, the West Baden Hotel has been fully restored to its former glory and is once again a popular destination for tourists. Its history of decline and abandonment serves as a reminder of the importance of preserving historic landmarks for future generations to enjoy.
Restoration And Reopening
The restoration and reopening of the West Baden Hotel was a massive undertaking that required significant investment and expertise. The project began in 2005, with a budget of $382 million, making it one of the most expensive historic preservation projects in the country. The goal was to restore the hotel to its original grandeur while incorporating modern amenities.
The restoration process involved significant structural repairs, including reinforcing the dome’s steel structure and repairing the roof. The interior was also extensively renovated, with many of the original features preserved, such as the marble floors, mosaic tiles, and ornate plasterwork. Additionally, modern amenities were added, including a spa, indoor pool, and fitness center.
The restoration and reopening of the West Baden Hotel was a significant success, earning numerous awards and accolades. In 2007, it was named one of the “Top 100 Hotels in the World” by Conde Nast Traveler, and in 2011, it was designated a National Historic Landmark. Today, the hotel remains a popular destination for travelers seeking luxury accommodations and a taste of history.
The restoration and reopening of the West Baden Hotel was made possible through the efforts of many individuals and organizations, including the Cook Group, which provided much of the funding, and the Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana, which oversaw the restoration process. The project serves as a shining example of how historic preservation can not only preserve our past but also provide economic benefits and create new opportunities for communities.
Amenities At The West Baden Hotel
The West Baden Hotel offers luxurious accommodations that are sure to make guests feel pampered and relaxed. The hotel’s rooms and suites are elegantly designed with classic furnishings and modern amenities, providing a perfect blend of comfort and sophistication.
Guests can choose from a variety of room types, including standard rooms, deluxe rooms, and suites. Each accommodation is equipped with plush bedding, high-quality linens, and a range of in-room amenities such as flat-screen TVs, mini-fridges, and complimentary Wi-Fi.
For those seeking the ultimate in luxury, the hotel’s suites offer spacious living areas, separate bedrooms, and stunning views of the surrounding countryside. Some suites even feature private balconies or patios, perfect for enjoying a morning coffee or an evening cocktail.
The West Baden Hotel is a luxurious resort that offers a wide range of amenities to its guests. One of the most popular attractions at the hotel is its world-class spa. The spa is designed to provide guests with a relaxing and rejuvenating experience, and it has become one of the top destinations for spa-goers from around the world.
The spa at the West Baden Hotel offers a variety of services, including massages, facials, body treatments, and more. Guests can choose from a range of treatments that are designed to meet their specific needs, whether they are looking for relaxation, stress relief, or skin rejuvenation.
One of the unique features of the spa at the West Baden Hotel is its mineral baths. These baths are filled with natural spring water that is rich in minerals and other beneficial elements. The mineral baths are known for their therapeutic properties, and they are a popular choice among guests who are looking for a truly indulgent spa experience.
The spa at the West Baden Hotel also offers a range of packages and specials throughout the year. Guests can take advantage of these deals to save money on their spa treatments and enjoy even more of what the spa has to offer.
If you’re looking for a world-class spa experience, the West Baden Hotel is definitely worth considering. With its luxurious facilities, expert staff, and wide range of treatments, it’s no wonder that the spa at the West Baden Hotel is considered one of the best in the world.
The West Baden Hotel offers a variety of dining options to cater to its guests’ culinary preferences. The hotel’s signature restaurant, Sinclair’s Restaurant, offers an upscale dining experience with a focus on locally sourced ingredients and creative American cuisine. Guests can enjoy dishes like the pan-seared scallops or the filet mignon with truffle butter.
For a more casual dining experience, guests can head to the Café at Sinclair’s, which serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner in a relaxed atmosphere. The café offers classic American dishes like burgers and salads, as well as international favorites like sushi rolls and pad thai.
Those looking for a unique dining experience can opt for the hotel’s Afternoon Tea, served daily in the atrium. The tea service includes a selection of loose-leaf teas, finger sandwiches, scones, and pastries.
Guests can also grab a quick bite at the Power Plant Bar & Grill, located near the indoor pool. The menu features classic pub fare like wings and burgers, as well as cocktails and beers.
|Restaurant Name||Cuisine Type||Price Range|
|Café at Sinclair’s||American/International||$|
|Afternoon Tea||Tea Service||$$|
|Power Plant Bar & Grill||Pub Food||$|
The West Baden Hotel is also home to a variety of bars and lounges, including the Sinclair’s Bar, which offers an extensive wine list and craft cocktails. The Atrium Bar serves drinks in the hotel’s stunning atrium, while the Rhino Bar offers a cozy atmosphere with leather chairs and a fireplace.
Championship Golf Courses
The West Baden Hotel is an opulent resort located in Indiana that offers a wide range of amenities to its guests. One of the most popular amenities at the hotel is the Championship Golf Courses that are available to guests on site.
The Pete Dye Course and the Donald Ross Course are two world-renowned golf courses that attract golf enthusiasts from around the globe. The Pete Dye Course was built in 2008 and has been rated as one of the top 100 public courses in America by Golf Digest. On the other hand, the Donald Ross Course was built in 1917 and has hosted several PGA championships over the years.
|Course Name||Designer||Year Built||Length (yards)|
|Pete Dye Course||Pete Dye||2008||8,102|
|Donald Ross Course||Donald Ross||1917||7,000|
Both courses are meticulously maintained and offer a challenging yet enjoyable experience for golfers of all skill levels. Guests can take advantage of the practice facilities, including a driving range, putting green, and chipping area, before hitting the links.
For those who want to improve their game, the West Baden Hotel also has a team of professional golf instructors who offer private lessons and group clinics. Additionally, the pro shop is fully stocked with the latest golf equipment and apparel, as well as souvenirs and gifts.
Exploring The West Baden Hotel
The West Baden Hotel is a historic landmark located in Indiana, USA. It was built in 1902 and has since then been known for its grandeur and luxurious amenities. One of the most impressive features of the hotel is the Atrium, which is a massive dome-shaped room that serves as the centerpiece of the building.
The Atrium at the West Baden Hotel is an architectural marvel. The dome spans over 200 feet and rises to a height of 100 feet. It is made up of over 2,500 individual pieces of glass, each one hand-cut and fitted into place. The result is a stunning display of colors and patterns that change throughout the day as the sun moves across the sky.
The Atrium is not only visually impressive, but it also serves as the heart of the hotel. Guests can gather here to relax, read a book, or simply admire the view. The space is filled with comfortable seating areas, lush greenery, and even a small fountain. It’s the perfect place to unwind after a long day of exploring the hotel and its surrounding area.
Visitors to the West Baden Hotel should definitely take the time to explore the Atrium. It’s a unique and beautiful space that truly captures the essence of this historic property.
The West Baden Hotel, located in Indiana, is a historic hotel known for its grand architecture and luxurious amenities. One of the most notable features of the hotel is The Dome, which serves as the centerpiece of the property.
The Dome at the West Baden Hotel is a massive structure that spans 200 feet across and rises to a height of 100 feet. It was originally built in 1902 and underwent a major renovation in the early 2000s, which restored it to its former glory. The Dome is made up of over 2,000 individual pieces of glass, which allow natural light to flood the atrium and create a stunning visual effect.
Visitors to the West Baden Hotel can take a guided tour of The Dome, which offers a unique perspective on the history and architecture of the property. The tour includes a visit to the top of The Dome, where guests can enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.
For those interested in learning more about The Dome and the West Baden Hotel, there are several resources available online. The official website of the hotel (https://www.frenchlick.com/hotels/west-baden-springs-hotel) provides detailed information about the property’s history, amenities, and attractions. Additionally, the Indiana Landmarks Foundation (https://www.indianalandmarks.org/) offers tours and educational programs focused on preserving and promoting Indiana’s historic landmarks, including the West Baden Hotel.
Art And Architecture
The West Baden Hotel is known for its stunning architecture and art that complement the grandeur of the hotel. The building’s dome-shaped atrium is one of the most impressive features of the hotel, and it is topped with a 200-foot ceiling that has a breathtaking view of the sky.
The interior of the hotel is filled with beautiful artwork that showcases the talent of renowned artists. Some of the notable pieces include “The Seasons” by William Edouard Scott and “The Great West Window” by Charles J. Connick.
The hotel’s architecture is inspired by European styles, and it is a perfect blend of classical and modern designs. The hotel was designed by Harrison Albright, who was known for his work on several other iconic buildings in the United States.
Visitors can take a guided tour of the hotel to learn more about the art and architecture of the building. The tour takes visitors through the atrium, the gardens, and the various rooms of the hotel. Visitors can also access the hotel’s library, which has an extensive collection of books on architecture and design.
The West Baden Hotel is a perfect destination for art and architecture enthusiasts who want to immerse themselves in the beauty of a unique and historic building.
Museums And Exhibits
The West Baden Hotel is not just a luxurious resort but also a place rich in history and culture. Guests can explore the various museums and exhibits within the hotel to learn more about the fascinating stories behind this iconic landmark.
One of the most popular exhibits is the West Baden Springs Museum, which showcases the history of the town and its famous mineral springs. Visitors can view artifacts and photographs that depict the grandeur of the hotel during its heyday in the early 1900s. The museum also offers guided tours that take guests through the historic gardens, carriage house, and other notable landmarks.
Another must-see exhibit is the French Lick Springs Hotel Museum, located just a short distance from the West Baden Hotel. This museum features a collection of rare artifacts and memorabilia from the French Lick Springs Hotel, including vintage postcards, menus, and photographs. Visitors can also view a replica of Tom Taggart’s private office, which was once located in the hotel.
For those interested in art, the West Baden Hotel boasts an impressive collection of works by renowned artists such as Salvador Dali, Pablo Picasso, and Marc Chagall. These pieces are on display throughout the hotel, adding to its already stunning ambiance.
|West Baden Springs Museum||Within the West Baden Hotel||A museum showcasing the history of the town and the hotel, with artifacts and guided tours available.|
|French Lick Springs Hotel Museum||Located near the West Baden Hotel||A collection of rare artifacts and memorabilia from the French Lick Springs Hotel, including a replica of Tom Taggart’s private office.|
Events And Activities At The West Baden Hotel
Concerts And Performances
The West Baden Hotel offers a variety of entertainment options for guests, including concerts and performances. The hotel’s majestic atrium serves as the perfect backdrop for musical performances, creating an unforgettable experience for attendees.
One of the most popular events at the hotel is the Jazz Under the Dome series, which features renowned jazz musicians from around the world. Guests can enjoy the smooth sounds of saxophones and trumpets while sipping on cocktails in the luxurious setting of the atrium.
In addition to jazz, the hotel also hosts classical music performances, featuring talented soloists and ensembles. These performances often include works by famous composers such as Mozart, Beethoven, and Bach.
For those who prefer more contemporary music, the hotel occasionally hosts pop and rock concerts, featuring both local and national acts. Recent performers have included John Mellencamp and The Doobie Brothers.
|Jazz Under the Dome||Every Friday and Saturday night||$25 per person|
|Classical Music Performance||Check hotel website for upcoming dates||$30 per person|
|Rock Concert||Check hotel website for upcoming dates||Prices vary|
Tickets for all performances can be purchased online or at the hotel’s front desk. It’s recommended that guests purchase tickets in advance, as performances often sell out quickly.
Attending a concert or performance at the West Baden Hotel is not only a great way to enjoy some entertainment, but it’s also an opportunity to experience the hotel’s stunning architecture and luxurious amenities.
Wine Tastings And Culinary Events
The West Baden Hotel is a prime destination for wine enthusiasts and foodies alike. The hotel regularly hosts wine tastings and culinary events that are sure to satisfy even the most discerning palate.
One of the most popular events at the hotel is the Wine Tasting Experience. This event is held every Friday and Saturday evening in the hotel’s atrium. Guests can sample a variety of wines from around the world while enjoying live music and stunning views of the hotel’s iconic dome.
In addition to the Wine Tasting Experience, the hotel also hosts a number of other wine-related events throughout the year. These events include wine pairing dinners, where guests can enjoy a multi-course meal paired with carefully selected wines, as well as wine education classes, where guests can learn about the history and production of different types of wine.
For those who are more interested in the culinary side of things, the West Baden Hotel also offers a range of culinary events. These events include cooking classes with the hotel’s award-winning chefs, as well as special themed dinners that showcase the best of local and seasonal ingredients.
One particularly popular event is the Truffle Dinner, which is held annually in the hotel’s Sinclair Restaurant. This dinner features a menu focused entirely on truffles, one of the most sought-after and expensive ingredients in the culinary world. Guests can indulge in dishes such as truffle risotto and truffle-crusted filet mignon, all paired with carefully selected wines.
|Wine Tasting Experience||Every Friday and Saturday Evening||$35 per person|
|Wine Pairing Dinner||Monthly||$125 per person|
|Cooking Class||Weekly||$75 per person|
|Truffle Dinner||Annually in November||$250 per person|
If you’re a wine lover or a foodie, the West Baden Hotel is definitely worth a visit. With its range of wine tastings and culinary events, there’s always something new and exciting to try.
For more information about the hotel’s events and activities, visit their official website at https://www.frenchlick.com/hotels/west-baden-springs-hotel.
The West Baden Hotel offers a variety of outdoor adventures for guests who want to explore the beautiful surroundings.
One of the most popular activities is hiking. The hotel has several trails that range in difficulty from easy to challenging. Guests can take a leisurely stroll through the woods or hike up to the top of nearby hills for breathtaking views of the area.
Another exciting adventure is horseback riding. The hotel offers guided trail rides through the countryside, allowing guests to experience the beauty of the landscape from a different perspective.
For those who enjoy water activities, the hotel has kayaking and canoeing available on nearby lakes and rivers. Guests can paddle along the peaceful waters and take in the stunning scenery.
Finally, the West Baden Hotel also offers fishing trips for guests who want to try their hand at catching some of the local fish species. The hotel provides all the necessary equipment and guests can spend a relaxing day on the water.
|Hiking||1-4 hours||$10 per person|
|Horseback Riding||1-2 hours||$50 per person|
|Kayaking/Canoeing||2-3 hours||$30 per person|
|Fishing||Half day/full day||$75/$150 per person|
For those interested in unique experiences, the hotel occasionally offers hot air balloon rides over the surrounding area. These rides provide a bird’s-eye view of the landscape and are sure to be an unforgettable adventure.
The West Baden Hotel’s outdoor adventures offer something for everyone, whether guests want to relax and take in the scenery or get their adrenaline pumping with more active pursuits.
The West Baden Hotel is the perfect destination for holiday celebrations. The hotel offers a variety of events and activities during the holiday season, making it an ideal place for families, couples, and groups of friends to celebrate together.
One of the most popular holiday events at the West Baden Hotel is the annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony. This event takes place in the atrium and features live music, hot cocoa, and cookies. Guests can watch as the magnificent tree is lit up with thousands of twinkling lights, creating a magical atmosphere that is sure to get everyone in the holiday spirit.
In addition to the tree lighting ceremony, the West Baden Hotel also hosts a number of other holiday-themed events throughout the season. These include gingerbread house making workshops, holiday craft fairs, and visits from Santa Claus himself.
For those looking for a more formal celebration, the hotel’s restaurants offer special holiday menus featuring traditional favorites like roast turkey, ham, and pumpkin pie. Guests can also enjoy festive cocktails and wines, carefully selected to complement the holiday cuisine.
The West Baden Hotel is a true gem of the Midwest, offering a unique combination of history, luxury, and entertainment.Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, or just looking for a relaxing getaway, the West Baden Hotel has something for everyone.So why not plan a visit and experience the magic of this iconic hotel for yourself?What are you most excited to see or do at the West Baden Hotel?