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Hotel Hell: Why did Layla’s Riverside Lodge close?



Layla’s Riverside Lodge closed down eight years after the Hotel Hell episode aired because Sandy decided to sell the business to new owners.

When Gordon Ramsay first dropped by the “Four Seasons Inn” in West Dover, Vermont to film for the second season of his show Hotel Hell, it was pretty obvious that the inn was on the verge of falling apart.

Not only was most of the inn’s staff not being paid for their work, but the inn was filthy, the food was horrible, and Sandy MacDougall (the hotel’s owner) had not been stepping up to the plate as the man in charge.

This is despite the fact that she invested over $1 million in the inn so far.

However, as always, Ramsay used his years of expertise in the hospitality industry to turn things around by the end of the episode. And the newly-renamed Layla’s Riverside Lodge seemed ready to start all over.

What happened after Gordon Ramsay left Layla’s Riverside Lodge

Surprisingly, Sandy and the rest of Layla’s Riverside Lodge team actually managed to keep their success for many years after Ramsay and his crew left.

Layla’s Riverside Lodge remained open (and quite successful, judging by this lodging establishment’s reviews) under Sandy’s management until February 2022, when Sandy decided to put his beloved inn up for sale.

The inn officially closed down in June of 2022, and while Sandy’s original sale reportedly fell through, it now seems like the inn has indeed found its new owners and is currently operating under a new name – the Sugar Maple Inn.

Layla’s Riverside Lodge’s Hotel Hell timeline

The old Four Seasons Inn may not have been in very good shape when Ramsay and his Hotel Hell team first arrived, but this inn has actually now become one of the show’s biggest success stories.

It managed to stay open (with the same owner at the helm) for about eight years after Ramsay’s visit.

This inn’s full timeline is as follows:

2011The Four Seasons Inn is founded
May 2013Ramsay and the Hotel Hell crew arrive to film the episode and the inn is renamed to Layla’s Riverside Lodge
August 25 2014The “Layla’s Riverside Lodge” Hotel Hell episode premieres
June 2022Layla’s Riverside Lodge closed down
July 2023The renamed Sugar Maple Inn opens its doors

 Why Sandy decided to sell Layla’s Riverside Lodge

Layla’s Riverside Lodge remained quite popular with travellers after the Hotel Hell episode aired, and this extremely pet-friendly lodge managed to earn a fairly good 3 out of 5-star rating on Yelp.

It also had an even better 4.5 out of 5-star rating on TripAdvisor before it closed.

In the end, Sandy revealed via a lengthy Facebook post that the “gut-wrenching” decision to sell his beloved lodge was only made after he suffered a heart attack in February 2022, and he realized that he needed to move south to “rehab [his] body and soul”.

He also added that while he still considers Layla’s Riverside Lodge his home, he simply could not continue living at the establishment any longer.

What Sandy has been up to since he sold Layla’s Riverside Lodge

While Sandy’s announcement about the closure of Layla’s Riverside Inn clearly came after some careful consideration, it does seem like this former lodge owner has a few plans for the future up his sleeve.

Sandy mentioned in this announcement that he had plans to join an “English Setter breeding facility and doggie day care” when he moved South, and he seems to have done just that.

Sandy is now running Stella’s Setter Sanctuary (which is also known simply as SSS Ranch) in South Carolina.

However, there has been no update just yet about the potential opening of a new Layla’s Riverside Lodge (which Sandy hinted may be opening very soon).

The establishment that replaced Layla’s Riverside Lodge

There is no doubt that Sandy must have been very picky about the new owners to whom he would hand over beloved ex-Layla’s Riverside Lodge.

But it seems like the inn’s new owners, a young family headed by Natalie and Julian Dion, have all of the necessary passion and drive to this this business successfully.

The newly-renamed Sugar Maple Inn officially opened its doors to the public on June 1, 2023 (though the Facebook announcement did warn that the renovations were not all complete at the time).

This new inn ties into the Dions’ other business, The Carpentry Shop Co., and has a brand new carpentry shop right on the premises.

The Sugar Maple lodge also contains a few picnic stations, river access, hiking trails, a pool, a restaurant and bar.

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