The founder of Lost River Hostel (Scott Wheeler) also founded The Sanctuary on Penn in 2011 – an upscale wedding venue and catering facility in downtown Indianapolis. The success of The Sanctuary set the foundation for the creation and opening of the hostel itself.
While we built The University to be a venue for teaching and artistic experiences, we also know that it’s perfectly suited for weddings. In order to maintain the primary purpose and mission of Lost River Hostel, we will be limiting our weddings/receptions to only 4 per calendar year on a first-come, first-serve basis.
We understand that you won’t need EVERYTHING we’re about to list, but it’s included. We hope you enjoy all you can.
We are a non-profit entity dedicated to helping people find and achieve their purpose. Our mission statement is “We hope all who pass through Lost River Hostel are inspired to improve themselves and the world around them”.
Our staff are real people with real personalities. You can expect to get the love, care, and realness that they would show anyone they want to take care of in their own lives.
Through the process, you will have a primary point of contact to walk you through all the details you need to know. On the day of the wedding, that person will be overseeing everything from start to finish.
Our experience in the industry should make for smooth sailing on your big day.
We’re in the middle of woods in West Baden Springs Indiana, about one hour south of Bloomington, and an hour from Louisville. We’re only five minutes from the beautiful town of French Lick/West Baden with some amazing architecture and essential shopping needs.
Click the icons on the map below to learn more about the grounds at Lost River Hostel.
Our elevated treehouse suite is built with a winding staircase between 5 conjoined poplar trunks and will be open to the public soon.
Our main guest residence in the heart of the hostel forest (7 rooms/13 beds/21 guests) was finished in 2017 and lovingly designed/built entirely by our hostel staff. The rooms contain unique art, hand-painted murals, and chalkboard walls.
The guesthouse contains:
The Bird’s Nest Suite (1 king bed, valley view)
The Cloud Room (1 queen bed)
The Water Room (1 queen bed)
The Summer Room (2 full size bunk-style beds)
The Spring Room (2 full size bunk-style beds)
The Winter Room (2 full size bunk-style beds)
The Autumn Room (3 twin size bunk-style beds)
One of two larger fire pits on the property, this fire pit is next to your room. We’ll often find the guests here sitting on our custom benches and chatting long into the night.
Completed in 2018, our showerhouse has two three-sided rainfall showers with one side open to the forest. On top is our rooftop tub with a throne-like partition to hide you from the rest of the world.
Our compost toilets are turned into compost that will one day become flowers— one by the guesthouse and another down the path. These feature an elaborate throne mural and handmade stained glass.
One of the first features we created at Lost River Hostel in 2015, the labyrinth, is a 20 minute spirally walk to the center, where an old persimmon tree sits waiting for your thoughts.
Our hexagonal bench around the main fire ring is the heart of conversation at the hostel. So many meaningful conversations and relationships have been formed around the embers here. In warmer weather, we often host our daily gratitude circle here.
The structure of our three gardens were created in 2015. They serve as a teaching tool to all who pass through and transform constantly depending on who is loving on them this season. Sometimes they are curated to perfection; other times, they run wild and free!
For our regular operation, we open just our 4 VIP campsites. For special events, we can host hundreds across all 29 acres!
Built in 1864, the main farmhouse serves as our hub of operations. It’s where you’ll find our magnificent kitchen, instruments, games, art porch, communal dining hall, and staff quarters.
Perfect for yoga, workshops, seated events of up to 150 each, and teaching space of any size, our lawns are an ideal addition for any breakout event space you may need.
With a library, a full kitchen, the river bed suite, the grand hall for larger events, and riverfront access – this new addition to Lost River Hostel is our main event hub.
The grand hall will host seated events for an invite list of up to 200 indoors with several configurations and outdoor space. The library is public from 10 am – 10 pm and then belongs to the guests of the river bed suite in the evening.
Full kitchen, restroom facilities, and parking are all on-site.
Flowing throughout the region, The Lost River is suspected to be one of the largest cave systems in the world, though we may never know as most of it is underwater.
Near the town of Orleans, the water vanishes underground for 14 miles before resurfacing nearby. When the water is low, it carries a deep tiffany blue. When high, it’s great for kayaking.
It Might Take Getting Lost to Find Yourself