The staff of The Spa at West Baden — located in the West Baden Springs Hotel in French Lick, Ind. — strives to give each guest a five-star experience. Each team member cross-trains with other therapists to ensure excellent and consistent service, says spa director Kim Allen.
After a cold night of camping and a quick morning shower, I welcomed the opportunity to be pampered in such opulent surroundings.
The Spa’s educational philosophy was evident when cosmetologist Lindsey Hajduk treated me to one of the best pedicures ever. Though I was a tad skeptical due to past pedicure experiences with non-nail techs, my fears were quickly dispelled by this five-year industry veteran. Lindsey performed a wonderful leg massage using Soma’s unscented massage lotion, to which Zents aromatherapy oils could be added. As she massaged, the lotion turned into oil, which gave it a very nice non-greasy slip.
Spare No Expense
During the $500 million dollar restoration in 2007 of both the West Baden Springs hotel and the French Lick Resort (located one mile apart), two 14,000-sq.-ft. spas were created. Both spas are open 365 days a year and employ nearly 50 professionals to cater to your relaxation. Within the two-level natatorium housing the full-service Spa at West Baden, clients can bathe in the Sprudel mineral springs found only in Southern Indiana or luxuriate in a sunken tub of Moor Mud.
From the marble inlaid floors to the gilded $3,000 wall sconces, the Spa at West Baden is pure luxury, but the staff is very friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable in all spa services. The compensation method of a 70/30 split (with the spa receiving 70%) or hourly pay (when not busy) works out very well, considering the spa’s prices are higher than surrounding area salons. This structure enables employees to receive excellent training, make a decent living, plus work in one of the most beautiful places imaginable!
> The West Baden Springs Hotel’s six-story atrium was once dubbed the eighth wonder of the world due to the world’s largest free-span dome sitting atop it. The atrium can be viewed from every lavish hotel room, as the windows not only look inward, but another set of windows look outward to view the beautiful landscaped gardens.
> Named after the famous mineral springs of Wiesbaden, Germany, the West Baden Springs hotel was originally built in 1855. A fire in 1901 forced the year-long rebuild and with a $414,000 budget the hotel was transformed to rival the grandest spas of Europe.
> The hotel was sold in 1923 where it became a center for gambling, plus was a haven for celebrities and political figures. After the stock market crash of 1929, the owner sold it in 1934 to the Jesuits for $1. For 30 years it was a seminary college.
French Manicure: $80
Spa Manicure: $65
Stone Pedicure: $80
West Baden Signature Sprudel Bath: $40
Lumi Lift Facial with microdermabrasion: $232
Polish: China Glaze and SpaRitual Pedicure scrub: Lemongrass-scented Get Fresh
Pedicure lotion: scent-free Soma (can add Zents aromatherapy oils for an upgrade)