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“Service? What's that?”

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French Lick Springs Hotel
Ranked #2 of 5 Hotels in French Lick
Certificate of Excellence
Winnetka, Illinois
Level Contributor
80 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Service? What's that?”
Reviewed September 4, 2011

We spent Labor Day weekend here. I have to say that the building amd area is interesting but the service at this place is horrific. I'd attribute it to one experience normally, but in this case every person we encountered were living a life of misery and were glad to spread it to their paying customers via a general lack of enthusiasm about amything we could ask for - a drink, a reservation, even the check. Sorry to be such a hassle to the staff but don't worry, our group of 9 won't be back. Only exception was the pro shop at the Ross course.

  • Stayed September 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Robinky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,123 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (303)
Date | Rating
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English first
Cincinnati, Ohio
Level Contributor
51 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed September 1, 2011

I went to this resort with my spouse as a weekend getaway and could not have been more pleased. There is a lot of history here and the 500M renovation shows. The hotel is older, but you can't tell. The rooms were spacious and quiet. Very comfortable linens and amenities. There were plenty of dining options including a really nice steak house, comparable in quality and price to Jeff Ruby or Emeril's. There is lots of golf and other activities within driving distance, but we didn't partake of anything other than the casino for a few hours. Casino is typical with table games and lots of slots. Unlike Las Vegas, alcoholic drinks you must buy. All in all, a very nice, upscale resort.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank WorldTraveler121
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago,Illinois
Level Contributor
120 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
Reviewed August 21, 2011

We so enjoy traveling down here because of the beautiful countryside and the peaceful setting. There are a number of fun things to do--biking, horsebackriding, miniature golf, boating, swimming, hiking, sightseeing, shopping as well as viewing the amazingly restored hotels at French Lick and neighboring Baden Baden. There are spa services available also. The hotel restaurants have a wide variety of tasty entrees. There is a small town feel and friendliness which is so inviting.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank set2go52
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nashville, Tennessee
Level Contributor
30 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed August 17, 2011

I travel from Nashville, gamble quite often in Tunica. Have been to Vegas a few times as well. I always get comp rooms and food in Tunica at Gold Strike Casino. I do fo Vegas as well.This casino in French Lick is a joke when it comes to comps, only because no competition around. If it was not for the ski trips to Paoli in the winter I would never, ever go here. You can't even get a meal without spending a fortune .

Stayed January 2011, traveled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank Hotdogvol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
lexingon, kentucky
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed August 14, 2011

Had a wonderful girl's weekend at French Lick....The hotel is beautiful with clean rooms. all the staff we encountered were friendly and helpful. We had a blast in the casino, very much appreciated the non-smoking section.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank ematt00
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cincinnati, Ohio
Level Contributor
28 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed August 11, 2011

I stayed at French Lick for three weekday nights with several family members (I'm in my twenties). We had a good time exploring the hotel and hanging out by the pool but I could see how the pool could get crowded on weekends. I went horseback riding for the first time and it was really enjoyable - the staff was great and facilities were nice. It's not far from Lake Patoka, where we rented a boat one day. We went to the casino each night and had a hard time getting a seat at a blackjack table, though. The rooms were nice and clean, but I wish it had a sink outside the bathroom. Food was good but a couple of the on-site restaurants were a bit pricey so we ate at Hagen's and 33 Brick Street two of the nights (the other night was at Power Plant Bar). Enjoyed relaxing on the porch in the rocking chairs but you'll get a better view at West Baden. My mom and I also rented bikes and the staff was really helpful. Valet guys were nice and we used the shuttle service a couple times without any problems.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank KellyL012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Louisville
Level Contributor
106 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
Reviewed August 8, 2011

I purposely chose not to post immediately to travel review sites and allow management time to respond to my email, however, it has been one week and I have yet to hear from either management at the French Lick Resort & Casino or the parent company, The Cook Company. Below is the email I sent to both detailing the atrocious service we experienced throughout the resort.

I have just returned from a weekend at your French Lick Resort facility July 30-31, 2011. I was part of a large group (14 ladies) celebrating our friend's 40th birthday. As someone who travels 20+ times a year for both work and pleasure, I had grand expectations for the weekend with friends at your recently renovated and historical facility. After spending $250+ on 4 rooms at your facility and significant money throughout the resort and casino, I feel the need to share our overall impression of your facility and staff that left us with a less than favorable impression and extreme disappointment, specifically at the overall lack of service in every area of the hotel (except the spa).



I will apologize in advance for the length of this letter, but as someone who also works in management, I find that negative impressions are subject to the reviewer and want to help you understand my reasoning for our extreme displeasure.



Saturday 10:15-11:00am - At our arrival on Saturday at 10:15am, we pulled up to valet our cars and were immediately greeted by one of the valet team members. We knew that check-in was not until later in the day and explained that we would like to unload our cars and simply have the luggage held until our rooms were available. The gentleman who took our information was confused by this request and we had to explain the situation multiple times. He finally agreed to assist us with our luggage and hold it until we were ready. He simply unloaded our luggage onto racks and placed the carts in an unlocked room right inside the doors. This entire process took over 30 minutes. We proceeded to the front desk to inform them of our arrival and asked that they call us when 1 or more of the 3 rooms were available for check-in. (The 4th room checked in on Friday.) The request for a call was met with significant push back and overall rudeness as an unacceptable request and we were told to simply check back every hour or so. I will tell you from vast experience that this is not an unreasonable request and many other hotels have successfully implemented this type of notification service when they are attempting to encourage visitors to come early and spend money in their facility. Both the lack of a secure luggage holding area and non-existent notification system indicate that the resort is not interested in additional dollars spent inside the facility while guests wait for their rooms.



Saturday 11:00am - The bright spot for our entire experience was the Spa. Some of us had chosen to enhance our stay with a spa treatment and we all had a wonderful experience at the spa. Abby, my masseuse, was absolutely wonderful and the overall experience inside the spa area was relaxing and we all felt that the spa personnel did everything in their power to make us feel special.



Saturday 12:15pm – Once again checked with the front desk staff to see if any of the rooms were available. One room was ready, 2 were not. I once again requested that they call me when the other rooms were available and after unpleasant sighing, the staff member agreed to take my number down and call when the rooms were available. We then proceeded to our room and asked that they bring all luggage (for all 3 rooms) to our room. This process took 45 minutes for them to arrive with our luggage. Again, this process should take 15-20 minutes at maximum. The gentleman at the front desk never called to inform us our rooms were available, so at 4pm we had to go to the front desk and inquire again – only to find out that they had been ready for over an hour.



Saturday 1:00pm-7:00pm – One of our intended activities for the planned trip was a great day spent by the pool and thus, we headed down to enjoy the pool. My first impression was a good one – although, I would think that a resort of this size and price point would not need to require guests to check out towels. We enjoyed the DJ and overall atmosphere at the pool area. Although we chose not to travel with our children, the area was designed to accommodate both adults and families. The disappointment and frustration came with the pool-side staff, the restaurant and the overall lack of service. Although there were servers around the pool, we had to flag them down each and every time we wanted to place an order. When we ordered from anyone on the roving service staff the wait time was 30 minutes or more for a drink and more than 45 minutes for any food item. These requests were not intricate – we simply ordered a mixed drink or beer and the overall delivery time was ridiculous. After a couple attempts to receive service – flagging someone down, ordering and then waiting for the requested items, we simply gave up and decided to head to the small drink kiosk and/or bar inside the restaurant. Another mistake. The small kiosk did not have many of the items we wanted and the indoor restaurant was over-crowded with others who had also given up on the pool-side staff. I blame the management for the lack of service – the servers, bar tenders, wait staff and others were simply overwhelmed. They were not lazy, but rather, they were given an unacceptable situation as management did not properly staff for the occupancy expected. That left all paying guests in a situation to blame the poor service on the staff…there were simply not enough of them to cover the crowd. For a summer Saturday afternoon, this was a poor overall experience for everyone. When a small group of us attempted to eat at the pool side restaurant, we waited for over 10 minutes to be recognized and then were directed to a vacant but still dirty table. It was another 10 minutes before a server came to us for our drink order with the promise to clean the table, but another 10 minutes to clear the table of the dirty dishes and take our order. While the food was delivered in an acceptable timeframe, we never received a refill on our beverages and our check was delivered 15 minutes after request. As a main attraction for the resort, the pool facility as a whole was a poor experience purely based on the service levels.



Saturday 9:00pm – we were referred to the Power Plant restaurant for live entertainment and dinner. We were seated at 9:05pm and finally had the last of our dinner delivered at 11:15pm. Again, the server tried his best with our large group, but he was unable to keep the drink orders straight, slow to get the orders from the bar and deliver them to our table and was simply overwhelmed by the group size. We did not have special requests and many of us chose the drink specials, but he could not keep them straight or deliver them with accuracy. The food order was taken at 10:15 and some of it was delivered at 10:40 – with 5 of us not receiving our meal until after many requests. When we were notified that our meals were delayed (and in one case wrong) we asked to see a manager. Our food was delivered after the others had finished their meals (11:15) and the server immediately let us know that our orders (same dishes others had requested) must have been left off of the original ticket. We were told that he had the manager remove the meals from the check, but the overall experience, slow service, delayed deliveries and slow food preparation/delivery made for another unacceptable experience. We finally did see a manager (after 5 requests) and the manager seemed baffled at the overall experience and had the nerve to say that if he had known earlier he would have done something about it. We did request him before, it was not our fault that he had not materialized until time for payment. The bill was wrong, had gratuity included and was not, as requested, separate checks. While we fully expected the included gratuity, the server should not have asked about separate checks if he was unable to actually provide this service. The overall service – server and manager – left a very bad impression on all of us and we were extremely glad to finally have the experience over. I would doubt that guests who are excited to finally be rid of a dining experience is part of your stated goals for your resort.



Saturday 11:30pm – we headed to the casino. Many of us were experiencing the new casino for the first time and again, our first impression was a positive one. When I sat down inside the non-smoking section at a Roulette table, I was immediately greeted by the dealer and pit boss – again – first impressions were all good. The utter dismay came with the beverage service. I played at the same table for over an hour with no offer of a beverage. The dealer and pit boss were both aware that we wanted a beverage (again….we were willing to pay for something but never received an offer), but they could not locate the cocktail server. There was apparently only 1 server for the entire area, what poor scheduling on behalf of the management. We never did receive a beverage, thus, we were forced to stop playing and head to the bar near the dance floor. Again, much like our experience at the pool…many others had to make this same pilgrimage and we waited for over 20 minutes to get served while standing and waiting to be recognized. The service continued on the path of all other areas for food/beverage we had experienced to this point – not enough staff, staff that was overwhelmed by the crowd and overall lack of service.



Sunday 9:00am – breakfast buffet – 4 people. We were greeted immediately and shown to a table. The restaurant was about 75% full. The server (Nestle) for our table came over to greet us within 2 minutes and brought our beverages and explained the buffet prices and selections….finally, great service. However, the rest of the dining time was unsatisfactory. The buffet was understaffed, the selections kept running out without immediate replacement and the lines for the omelet station and waffles was 10 people deep. I waited over 15 minutes to order an omelet and had to give up on the waffles as the line was significant and the attendant was only doing waffles in between attempts to stock other items making the wait more than 10 minutes per waffle maker. For the size of the restaurant and the booked rooms for the night, the management did a poor job staffing for the number of expected guests – especially at peak breakfast hours. The server was efficient and timely with our beverages, but the food selection and time for service was extremely slow.



Sunday 11:30am – 3pm – back to the pool. The majority of our group chose to spend the afternoon before our departure poolside with the expectation that we would order drinks/food from the roving servers – hoping that the lower Sunday crowds would alleviate the previous day’s experience. There were once again roving servers - I saw only 2 – who had to flagged down for service although the crowd was ¼ of the previous day. Drink orders still took 30 minutes and then the wait for a bill/change was another 15 minutes. They seemed both overwhelmed and new to their roles. With this experience we chose to go into the restaurant for lunch at 2pm – definitely not a peak lunch time. We only had 3 people, but the server was doing double duty – bartender and server for ½ the restaurant and again we waited for everything – to order drinks, to get drinks, to order food, to receive food (although it was prepared quickly, it sat in the window for 5 minutes), to receive refills only when asked, to get her attention to get check, to provide payment and then to get change….it was reticent of all service issues during our stay.



Sunday 3pm – call for car/departure. We presented both our luggage check and our car valet ticket to the bell desk. We waited 20+ minutes for our car to be retrieved and the bellman could not locate our luggage. He asked us to accompany him to the luggage room to identify our luggage…which had been removed from a cart and placed on the floor – even our hang-up garments. The room was unlocked and the luggage was not properly identified, I hate to think of the others who could have easily claimed our items as theirs…as there were many other bags unmarked.



As you can see from the detailed outline, my overall impression of the resort is now tied to the significant lack of service at even the basic level. Our simple attempts to order food and beverage at every location we tried was slow and the overall lack of smiling service or an explanation along the way was laughable, to the point of being rude. We chose your resort based on the location, history and perfect setting for our trip - and it was all of those things – but the absolute dissatisfaction at the service will keep us from returning. I have been to many hotels and resort complexes and found the French Lick Resort to be lacking in all of the service categories.



I hope you will read this with the same tone and understanding with which it was written. As someone who does not typically comment on travel issues, I felt the need in this instance based on the severity of the poor service levels. As your facility is one of the few casino-hotel combinations close to the Louisville area – I can imagine you strive to be competitive in all areas of the resort and having 14 negative reviewers sharing our experience with our friends is not a good marketing strategy.

Room Tip: Basic Rooms were well appointed.
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
13 Thank raible01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FrenchLickResort, General Manager at French Lick Springs Hotel, responded to this review, August 11, 2011
We certainly wish things had worked out differently. From your arrival all the way through your follow-up email there were multiple opportunities for us to turn things around. I personally apologize for what appeared to be a lack of concern on our part---that was never our intention. We take complaints very seriously, and in fact, were implementing changes based on feedback from yourself and others. We regret that we failed to communicate that to you in a timely manner.

We understand that we have one chance to get things right and we failed miserably in this case. If you would still be willing, we would welcome the opportunity to speak to you directly.

Sincerely,
Dean Blackburn
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about French Lick Springs Hotel

Property: French Lick Springs Hotel
Address: 8670 W State Road 56, French Lick, IN 47432-9389 (Formerly French Lick Springs Resort)
Location: United States > Indiana > French Lick
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 5 Hotels in French Lick
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — French Lick Springs Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 443
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
French Lick Resort Casino is a $500 million historic restoration and casino development that includes French Lick Springs Hotel, French Lick Casino and West Baden Springs Hotel. This premier resort destination features 689 guest rooms and suites; 42,000-square-foot casino; 45-holes of golf, including fully restored Donald Ross Course and the new, 18-hole Pete Dye Course (opening Spring 2009); two full-service spas with a combined 36 treatment rooms and an array of dining and entertainment options. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
French Lick Hotel French Lick
French Lick Springs Resort
French Lick Resort

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