Courtesy French Lick Resort
Toss that guidebook, tell the motorcoach driver to relax, and advise everyone to unpack their suitcases. Your group has now arrived at a resort that will entertain every one of your travelers.
Do you want to golf? A championship golf course is just outside your door. How about taking a stroll through some of nature’s most spectacular landscapes? You are surrounded by manicured trails. If you need to relax, enjoy a massage at the spa, or simply sit on the front porch and soak up the peaceful sights.
Grab your friends and enjoy a hayride, throw a fishing line into the stream, or take a dip in the pool. Sometimes, there is even a grand casino around the corner where you can wager a bet or two.
And after days full of activities, resorts offer great dining in the evening. Whether you are craving the world’s best burger, succulent crab legs or a chocolate souffle, there is no need to unfold the map to find a restaurant — it’s all there.
French Lick Resort
French Lick, Indiana
French Lick Resort is two hotels on a sprawling 3,000-acre complex. Each hotel enjoys a historic past, and together, they have been developed into one destination.
Surrounded by the Hoosier National Forest, the French Lick Springs Hotel was established in 1845 because of the “miracle waters” of its nearby sulfur springs. In addition to 443 accommodations and grand mosaic and marble flooring, this hotel offers an indoor/outdoor pool, a bowling alley, tennis, croquet and excursions to area attractions, including Gasthof Amish Village.
Offering 243 guest rooms and suites and lush formal gardens, West Baden Springs Hotel is a national historic landmark and was once proclaimed the “Eighth Wonder of the World” thanks to its six-story domed atrium.
Each hotel offers high-end amenities such as a spa, culinary classes, shopping, wine tasting and the opportunity to travel the scenic landscape by horse and carriage. The Casino at French Lick Resort is a 51,000-square-foot gaming venue. The resort also has two 18-hole courses, including the Pete Dye Course, which hosted the 2010 PGA Professional National Championship. Headline entertainment is often on the resort’s marquee, and groups may also want to check the annual schedule for holiday events, car shows and craft extravaganzas.
From fine dining to casual fare, the resort offers 14 dining options between the two hotels.
Osage Beach, Missouri
Located on 420 acres along the shoreline of the Lake of the Ozarks, Tan-Tar-A Resort offers 720 guest rooms and 150 suites. Outdoor enthusiasts can take advantage of a full-service marina with paddleboats, fishing opportunities and a 175-foot yacht that offers groups the opportunity to see the surrounding homes, hills and wildlife.
“It’s like a tropical island cruise,” said Ann Walters, director of sales.
Besides the fitness center and an indoor pool, the resort’s full-service Windjammer Spa encourages pampering, and Timber Falls, an indoor water park, encourages adventurous fun.
“The park has four water slides, a lazy river and a 600-gallon tipping bucket that spills over on unsuspecting guests,” said Walters.
A bowling alley and arcade are other resort amenities for family members of any age, and those who want to explore the lush grounds can pick from various modes of transportation: Equine-lovers can choose their ride from the horse stables, and comfy touring cars are available for half-day rentals.
Golfers can play on a variety of championship courses. There’s also a no-expertise-needed miniature golf course.
Walters suggests groups experience lakeside dining at the steak and seafood restaurant Windrose and a casual lunch at the Oaks, where golf course views are best. Tan-Tar-A Resort offers a total of five dining options, among them the Black Bear Lodge Restaurant where, according to Walters, the homemade waffles on the breakfast buffet are “to die for.”