Four Seasons Inn / Laylas Riverside Lodge - Hotel Hell Update - Open or Closed?

Hotel Hell Four Seasons Inn / Laylas Riverside Lodge

In this Hotel Hell episode, Gordon Ramsay visits the Four Seasons Inn in West Dover, Vermont.

Four Seasons Inn is owned by a former construction worker Sandy McDougall and the inn has 14 rooms and a dog kennel.

Sandy has spent $1.1million on the inn so far and the staff are not currently being paid.

Instead they get to stay in the inn for free as compensation for their work at the inn.

Layla is Sandy’s dog and has free range of the hotel. She can often be seen in the lobby or running through the dining room.

Gordon arrives expecting the luxury 5-star chain Four Seasons hotel but instead finds something a little different.

As he enters the inn he finds an empty reception and an untidy dog bed.

He is met by the owner, Sandy who takes him to his room which isn’t ready, with an unmade bed. Gordon also finds some empty beer bottles in the room.

Sandy leaves immediately to go to the kitchen and has the housekeeper Erin meet Gordon.

Sandy reappears and takes Gordon to the new room.

On being asked about the popular hotel chain with a similar name, he discloses that they are not affiliated.

Gordon isn’t impressed by the wallpaper in the new room. He later finds Erin and chats with her about the inn.

She tells him she does massage therapy and Hula-hoop training but she doesn’t get paid for this and instead lives at the hotel for free.

Gordon is shocked to find this out but hopes lunch will be better than the rooms.

The restaurant is empty and server Gwen a server, attends to him. Layla settles at his feet under the table.

Gordon dislikes the curry bread and feeds it to the dog. He checks Layla is okay after eating the bread. He also dislikes both the main dish and dessert.

In the kitchen comments are made by Steve, the Chef, that Sandy has no business being in the kitchen as he has no formal kitchen training.

Richard introduces himself as the marketing manager during Gordon’s meal and he doesn’t impress Gordon.

Gordon decides to go to the kitchen to meet Sandy asking who the head chef is. Sandy tries to shift the blame to Steve.

Steve shows the apple concentrate used for the apple risotto and he says he has no control over the menu or purchasing the produce.

Steve later breaks down outside and tells Gordon that he is frustrated with his current situation in the kitchen and is ashamed he served Gordon Ramsay a horrible meal.

Gwen, Erin, Steve and Richard say that Sandy and the management are the problem at the inn.

Gordon tells Sandy he is hiding from his responsibilities in the kitchen and he is not running the hotel properly. Sandy however is not willing to listen.

Sandy takes Gordon around and shows him the dog kernel and it hasn’t been used, Sandy blames Richard.

Word has got around about Gordon’s presence at the inn and many locals have come to the restaurant and a few guests come to check in.

The servers are forced to check in guests in the middle of dinner service and mistakenly over-charge a guest on the room rate.

Gordon goes to the kitchen to drag Sandy out to help take care of guests.

Sandy asks the restaurant patrons how their meals are; they burst out laughing before giving several complaints ranging from wrong orders to late service and bad food.

Guests in the rooms also have complaints but of dirt in the rooms and loud barking noises.

Gordon calls for a staff meeting at the end of the shift, they all reveal they don’t get paid.

Gordon points out that is why the standards are low. Sandy tries to be optimistic but Richard calls him out and walks out.

Gordon lets everyone go to bed and Sandy sheds a few tears after the grilling from Gordon.

The next morning Gordon notes the pillows have a smell and the swimming pool has dog mess floating in it. Gordon settles on a hot tub instead to try and relax.

Gordon takes Sandy to meet the checked-in guests of the hotel. Their complaints include uneven treatment of dogs and dogs in the dining room.

Amy, a General Manager of a Hilton Hotel observed dog hair on the tablecloth and plates at dinner the previous evening.

She also feels the customer service is poor as when she tried to complain she was told the owner was too busy.

Gordon then brings out the black light and all the guests make audible noises of disgust. The pillows, sheets, mattress and rug all light up.

As a result of the black light test, the guests say they would never come back again.

Sandy breaks down again once left alone. Gordon tells him again that he is the inn keeper not a chef.

Sandy finally realises how much he is letting slip and commits to change.

Gordon officially announces Sandy is the General Manager to his staff and ceremoniously burns Sandy’s chef’s coat to the delight of everyone.

Gordon’s team gives the inn a makeover but Sandy’s makeover is the first surprise.

He is looking the part of the owner having had a clean shave, a haircut and is dressed in a suit.

The Inn is renamed as Layla's Riverside Lodge, named after Sandy’s dog.

The reception area is made more inviting and warmer; Sandy is visibly astonished.

Gordon created a new farm-to-table menu featuring local produce that Steve is very happy with.

Next is the bedrooms which have been redecorated, deep cleaned and have dog beds.

The rooms are also made up with $100,000 of organic linens from Soup Home. Another room has the bunk beds removed creating more space.

Finally, the dog kennels are made wider and warmer with plush furnishings and there is a new colourful playpen.

Gordon introduces his bulldog Rumple, who has checked in to the kennels and Sandy cries once more.

Gordon reveals there’s a dog agility competition being run, which can be done monthly and will bring in new guests.

One of the previous guests is Shanon, a luxury boarding kennel consultant who donates $10,000 worth of consultancy so they can grow their kennel side of the business.

That night, Sandy is being the innkeeper greeting guests, they are impressed by the rooms, the food cooked by Steve and the dog kernel.

Sandy tells Gordon all the staff can finally go back on payroll the next day. Gordon packs to leave but Rumple refuses to leave his dog bed.

What Happened Next at Four Seasons Inn / Laylas Riverside Lodge?

Four Seasons Inn was renamed to Layla's Riverside Lodge during the show named after Layla to promote the dog friendliness of the hotel.

Bookings are up as a result and Sandy has received numerous messages of support from viewers.

Yelp reviews were mostly positive, with negative comments being addressed by the owner.

Trip Advisor reviews were also mostly positive.

Layla sadly passed away in September 2021.

Layla's Riverside Lodge closed in June 2022 after Sandy sold the hotel.

Four Seasons Inn / Laylas Riverside Lodge aired on August 25 2014, the episode was filmed in May 2013 and is Hotel Hell season 2 episode 6.

Read About More Hotel Hells

Next episode - Curtis House Inn

Previous episode - Calumet Inn


  1. I don't understand why the staff stayed when they weren't getting paid. How could anyone afford to do that? Aren't there laws stating employees must be paid at least minimum wage? Out of the entire episode that's what staggered me the most.

    1. They were being given free rooms live in. So prob ok since they were being given something for their work. Still I would think sucks.

    2. its called loyalty might want to look that word up. This is the way the world works when they believe in you.

    3. I guess the question now would be since he is paying them. Will he charge them for the rooms? Now that is the real question.

    4. Working in exchange for free rent? Never heard of it. Sounds super shady.

  2. How can this owner be that oblivious to the errors that he, himself controlled, letting his dog run free?

    Wish this place closes, as he never refunded money of people that stayed there prior to Gordon,..AND, he ducked complaints, to boot!

    1. It really bothers me that he didn't pay the staff and avoided responsibility before Gordon, but at least he seems to have really tried to improve himself and his business afterward. There are a lot of other businesses on the show that still fail despite all help because they fall back to their old bad practices. This guy's hotel still open with much better reviews, so he used the assistance well and so far hadn't squandered the opportunity like many other places have. So I gotta kinda respect that.

  3. This episode was really cute! I'm so pleased for the owner and staff! And of course Layla!

  4. This episode aired in 2014. It looks like, from the Lodge's website, that there have been no further renovations of any other rooms. This seems typical of Hotel Hell subjects - few if any changes spark a full and complete change. Why on earth is this the case? What a squandered opportunity.

    1. I would imagine it takes them awhile to stop operating in the red. Even if the business is successful afterwards it would take them a long time to climb out of debt and start making a profit. So I would think they should just maintain everything as well as they can and then once they get out of debt they can put money towards further improvements.

  5. One of my favourite episodes. I loved them all!! Apart from Richard. Err.. he was a bit of a donut. - But Steve the chef? and Dandy himself? What a pair of sweethearts!! - I know Sandy was going haywire from stress, but you could see the heart of the guy throughout the episode. So so glad they're all doing better now.

  6. Doggy Hotel! XP Just don't bring your cats, I doubt it would be a good idea.

  7. Loved this episode and glad it worked out. You could tell Sandy cared, he just needed a push. Aside from the Hotel Chester, he's one of the most receptive, least combative owners thus far on the show.

  8. I know I may be late but this is by far my favorite episode! Im really proud of Sandy and the others!

  9. As Anthony above me said, Sandy was one of the most receptive of the advice Gordon gave out apart from Hotel Chester. Both of them have kept the changes as far as their websites tell. I just wish they are making a decent profit so they can keep it going

  10. Sounds like the Sandy and his staff were all doing it RUFF, but now GRRRamsey has given him direction anything is PAW-SIBLE. Also, now he's paying the staff as well as giving them a roof over their heads, he's finally out of the DOGHOUSE.

    ... I couldn't resist


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