Just when I think customer service is a thing of the past, something happens to restore my faith and make me believe that there are still places that care about their customers. Once such place is West Baden Springs Hotel in southern Indiana.
I have written before about our love for West Baden. It’s a perfect weekend getaway, and one that we’ve enjoyed and encouraged others to enjoy dozens of times since we first discovered this gorgeous place four years ago. There’s no hiding our enthusiasm for this place. We’ve started lovingly calling it our happy place, and we look for every opportunity, when we’re not traveling far and wide, to rest, relax, and recharge at this peaceful retreat.
But one thing that we had not been enthusiastic about in the past was the dining options at West Baden. The best restaurant (and probably still true today) is most certainly 1875: The Steakhouse at the French Lick Hotel, West Baden’s sister property. We’ve never made a trip that we didn’t prioritize a visit to 1875 to enjoy the most perfect steaks in a most elegant atmosphere.
For us, all other dining experiences had been underwhelming, and maybe even disappointing.
I faithfully filled out the survey the resort sends after each visit, and my only complaint was always the food.
I always get the feeling when I respond to any survey requests that our feedback goes out into the ether and is promptly lost forever. So, imagine my surprise when it seemed my feedback was not only read, but actually addressed! French Lick and West Baden resorts have definitely stepped up their game in the food department. I’ve followed on social media as they’ve featured “Foodie Friday” glimpses at the upgrades to their offerings. The special events they’ve begun to offer, like Bourbon and Bites, show that they are confident enough in the food they’re serving to center an event around it. Our most recent visit for Tim’s birthday weekend gave us an opportunity to put it to the test, and we weren’t disappointed. In addition to another amazing meal at 1875, we enjoyed a Mother’s Day brunch that was surprisingly decadent and delicious for a buffet! Oysters, shrimp, prime rib, and more were featured in a beautiful display that left us not just full, but satisfied. Way to go, West Baden!
But this isn’t the only time feedback was heard and addressed for us. A few months ago, I did a girls’ weekend with some friends at West Baden. Neither of them had been there, so I was excited to show them what all our fuss was about. The day started out perfectly, and we enjoyed relaxing in the chaise lounges in the atrium before our dinner at 1875 (told you we ALWAYS go!). I think the girls were really seeing the magic of West Baden–until about midnight, that is. Despite turning the air all the way down, our room felt a bit like an oven. We hoped that the air would eventually kick on and cool us down. But, by morning, we were all feeling less enthusiastic about the experience. When I went to the front desk to report the issue, the clerk shared that the hotel was experiencing outages, and they could send up a fan if we’d like. At that point, it was too late for us.
When the survey came, I expressed my disappointment that my friends may have felt I had over exaggerated the wonders of West Baden after the sweat-lodge sleeping experience. I knew this wasn’t anyone’s fault, but I was disappointed all the same.
Three weeks after our visit, an envelope arrived from West Baden Springs Hotel. Inside was a gift certificate for TWO nights at the hotel as an apology for the experience. I honestly couldn’t believe it. I didn’t demand they make it right or offer anything to me, and yet they did. They didn’t have to be so generous, but they were.
We have been so completely impressed by the customer-centric focus at West Baden Springs Hotel. We loved it so much before, and each time we visit, they win our loyalty more and more. Whether it’s a small gesture like complementary chocolate-covered strawberries on our anniversary or putting a rose in my mother-in-law’s room for her 70th birthday, or a large gesture like hearing us out and offering to make up for disappointment, West Baden has shown that we are valued. Their customer service continues to surprise and delight us as much as the place itself.