I’m back from a long weekend road trip—a business trip actually— to a place I had never been before:  southern Indiana and The West Baden Springs Hotel. You would never expect to find one of the top hotels in the country (2011 Conde’ Nast) in such a remote locale—in fact, it is, quite literally in the middle of nowhere.  We arrived just as the sun was setting and as we made our way up the long drive of red brick pavers, the hotel’s imprint on the horizon resembled something like a mirage.

Once billed as the Eighth Wonder of the World, this storied hotel, built in 1902, has a massive domed atrium that spans 200-feet.

The one-of-a-kind domed atrium is really quite remarkable to see and serves as the focal point for the spectacular Greco-Roman architecture of the hotel that includes massive stone columns, iron balconies, marble floors, and gold leaf detailing.

The grounds are equally captivating, with sunken gardens, fountains, and stone gazebos.  I can only imagine how breathtaking the sprawling landscape is once spring arrives.

The weather has been magnificent this year with not a sign of winter in sight.  Couldn’t have asked for a better backdrop for our road trip and the discovery of a hotel with National Historic Landmark status, that truly turned out to be a weekend wonder.