(keep reading to learn what happened)
Season: 2 | View All Season 2 Episodes
Original Episode Air Date: August 25, 2014
Four Seasons Inn Address: 145 Vermont Rte 100, West Dover, VT 05356
Four Seasons Inn, later renamed Layla’s Riverside Lodge, was a West Dover, Vermont hotel featured on Season 2 of Hotel Hell.
Though the Four Seasons Inn Hotel Hotel Hell episode aired in August 2014, the actual filming and visit from Gordon Ramsay took place much earlier in mid-2013. It was Season 2 Episode 6 of Hotel Hell.
In this episode of Hotel Hell, Gordon Ramsay visits the Four Seasons Inn.
Four Seasons Inn is located in West Dover, Vermont, which is near the Green Mountain National Forest and just a bit north of the Massachusetts border.
It’s also right on the north branch of the Deerfield River.
Sandy MacDougall is the owner as well as a former construction worker.
The Four Seasons Inn features a kennel for dogs and 14 rooms.
That’s one of the most unique things about the hotel – it’s very dog friendly, as dogs are an important part of Sandy’s life.
Sandy has invested a million dollars into the inn, and the staff members ate not being paid.
Layla, Sandy’s dog, has an entire hotel run and is often seen exploring the grounds and lobby.
Gordon is expecting a high-class resort, but instead, he finds a dirty dog bed and a small reception area.
Sandy takes him to his room, which is messy and filled with empty beer bottles.
Sandy moves him to another room.
Sandy informs Gordon that they have no affiliation with the famous hotel chain, The Four Seasons.
I find it very weird that they chose the same name then.
I guess “four seasons” is a common phrase.
But you’d still think Sandy would’ve done the research to find out there was already a huge hotel chain with that name.
Gordon and Erin, the housekeeper, speak about the inn.
Erin says she does massages and hula hoop training but doesn’t get paid, but she is allowed to live at the hotel for free.
When Gordon goes to lunch, he is joined by Layla, the dog who sits at his feet under the table.
Gwen is Gordon’s server.
Gordon dislikes everything and feeds the bread to Layla.
He checks on her to make sure she isn’t sick after eating the bread.
Steve, the chef, tells Gordon that Sandy should not be in the kitchen.
Richard says he is the marketing manager, but he doesn’t leave a good impression on Gordon.
Sandy tries to blame the kitchen staff for the poor food.
Steve tells Gordon that he has no control over anything in the kitchen.
Gordon tries to tell Sandy that he is the main problem with the Four Seasons Inn, but he refuses to listen.
The word that Gordon Ramsay is in town has spread, and the restaurant has many customers during dinner.
Sandy is hiding in the kitchen and not taking care of the guests.
The guests are complaining about the noise and the state of their room.
To make matters worse, the staff all tell Gordon they do not get paid at a staff meeting.
The following day Gordon sees dog feces floating in the pool.
This scenario got a lot of funny press and pictures because it’s such a weird thing to happen.
He goes into the hot tub instead, which you can see in the screenshot from the top of the post.
Sandy and Gordon meet with guests who have complaints about dogs in the dining room.
One of the guests, Amy, is a service manager at Hilton and noticed dog hair on her dining room table.
She also said when she wanted to complain to the owner, she was told the owner was too busy.
Sandy finally realizes how much he has let go and promises to change.
Gordon says that Sandy is now the general manager and no longer a chef; he burns his chef coat to applause.
Gordon remakes the inn and Sandy.
Sandy is given a clean shave and looks more like a leader.
As part of the changes, Gordon renames the hotel from Four Seasons Inn to Layla’s Riverside Lodge.
Obviously, the hotel is named after Layla the dog.
The inside is warm and cozy.
The restaurant is using local produce.
The rooms are all deep cleaned and have new dog beds.
Gordon brings in his dog Rumples who has checked into the kennels and made Sandy cry.
Everyone is impressed.
The food is excellent, and they love the dog kennels.
Now that we’ve recapped the Four Seasons Inn Hotel Hell episode, it’s time to move on to how the hotel is doing after Hotel Hell.
Four Seasons Inn Update - What Happened Next?
So – was the Layla’s Riverside Lodge Hotel Hell episode a success? Let’s talk about what happened when Gordon Ramsay left West Dover, Vermont.
Up until June 2022, Four Seasons Inn was still open and receiving customers in West Dover, Vermont.
They kept the name from Gordon Ramsay and the hotel continued to do business under the name Layla’s Riverside Lodge.
The hotel also continued to play up the dog-friendly nature of the hotel and a lot of customers seemed to appreciate that.
Reviews for the hotel were quite good, as it had a 4.5 star rating on TripAdvisor on over 130 different reviews.
As of 2022, the cheapest room was around ~$180 per night and the prices ranged up to ~$380 for the Layla’s Riverside Lodge Honeymoon Suite, which included a large balcony and a jacuzzi bath tub.
Is Layla’s Riverside Lodge still open after Hotel Hell?
Unfortunately, Layla’s Riverside Lodge closed in June 2022 because Sandy sold the hotel to a new owner who plans to put in a new concept.
That new owner backed out of the deal in July 2022, but I think he found a new owner in late 2022.
As of 2023, it seems like the old Layla’s Riverside Lodge Vermont property will be reopening as Sugar Maple Inn, which I assume is the new tenant that Sandy sold the hotel to.
Sugar Maple Inn seems to already be operating as a hotel, with plans to open the kitchen in summer of 2023.
There’s also a carpentry shop attached to the hotel.
So – why did Sandy decide to sell Layla’s Riverside Lodge?
Sadly, Sandy had a heart attack in February 2022, which is why he decided to sell the hotel to a new owner.
I assume he wants a more relaxing day-to-day with his health issues.
He said that he is “moving south to rehab my body and soul”.
He will still be breeding English Setters at his new location and also offer a dog daycare service.
For a deeper look, you can read Sandy’s full June 4, 2022 post on the Layla’s Riverside Lodge Facebook page. Here’s an excerpt:
WOW I forgot to post why,what where, and when!
First lets start with why would I sell Layla’s. Plain and simple I had a heart attack on 2/8/2022.
Yes I did plan on living here till death, its just I feel its a little early eh.
This is by far the most gut wrenching decision I have ever had to make in my life, and I have made some pretty f–= ked up decissions.
When you move to a small town population 1,842 when I did.
You meet the most beautiful people inside and out. plus you are held accountable for your actions, and gain knicknames ( a tolerable cone head ) or long hair hippy !!
Well this is my home I just can’t live here now.
So I am moving south to rehab my body and soul!
Here’s a screenshot of the Facebook post in case the page gets deleted (which happens to a lot of hotels after they close).
When I know what happens to the old Four Seasons Inn Vermont location, I will update this page.
If the new owner keeps the Layla’s Riverside Lodge name, then I will change the status back to open.
What happened to Sandy, the Layla’s Riverside Lodge owner?
Sandy was the Layla’s Riverside Lodge owner and successfully ran the hotel for a number of years after the visit from Gordon Ramsay.
Sadly, he suffered a heart attack in February 2022 that forced him to sell the hotel, as I detailed above.
As of June 2022, Sandy has moved to South Carolina, where he has a large property.
He’s still heavily involved with dogs.
In South Carolina, he’s running Stella’s Setter Sanctuary, AKA the SSS Ranch and kennel. You can see a Facebook post about it here:
Stella’s Setter Sanctuary .
Or better known from now on on as SSS Ranch.
Details will follow!!
Life is oh such a crazy ride my friends a crazy ride!!
Now please go hug your dog!!!
Overall, Sandy’s health seems to be better and it’s great to see that he’s still happy and able to enjoy being with his dogs.
Final Thoughts on Layla’s Riverside Lodge
Overall, the Layla’s Riverside Lodge Hotel Hell episode still seems like a genuine success.
The hotel survived for eight years after Gordon’s visit and it only closed because of the owner’s health issues, not because it was failing as a business.
Congratulations to Sandy and his team, and good work for Gordon Ramsay!
I wish Sandy the best in his new location and I hope his health improves.
As of 2023, the old Layla’s Riverside Lodge Vermont location is now occupied by a new hotel named Sugar Maple Inn.
If you want to see some other Vermont Hotel Hell episodes, you can check out my updates for Juniper Hill Inn in Windsor VT and Cambridge Hotel in Cambridge NY (just across the border)
If you want to see updates for the next/previous episode of Hotel Hell from Season 2, you can use these links:
- Next episode – Curtis House Inn update
- Previous episode – Calumet Inn update
Thanks for reading!
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And don't forget to check out the full Hotel Hell open and closed list.
Last updated: 2023-01-21 08:17
6 thoughts on “Layla’s Riverside Lodge / Four Seasons Inn Hotel Hell Update – Still Open in 2023?”
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Google says temporarily closed, the website isn’t functional and the phone rings once with no connect
Thanks for letting me know! It seems like the owner has sold the hotel to a new person with a new concept. Sandy sold it because he had a heart attack and wants to move to a more relaxed life. I will update the post.
I am the “new owner” (we have not closed on the property yet). Feel
free to email me.
The hotel is back on the market, did the deal fall through?
With a remarkable 26-year history in North Carolina of rescuing dogs & cats (of 51 total taking in critters), this episode (watching a streaming marathon of a program I never knew) touched me deeply, & of all the disappointing outcomes so far, I looked up the results of Layla’s with tears in my soul & dread in my heart. So it was both uplifting & a letdown to know of its recent changes – so sorry for Mr. MacDougall’s health issues which forced it & anxious about the dedicated staff who were so integral to the place while relieved to know of his recovery & relocation, yet remaining apprehensive about the fate of Layla’s now. We can, I expect, soon be apprised of its transformation (starting no doubt with the name; such often are the ways of new ownership) into something that hopefully will further its standing in the community, preserve its beauty &, of no surprise to other people with dogs, its continuance as a welcoming place for them. I hearkened back to all of my cats & dogs before the current ones, & can only wish there was a similar place in closer proximity to bring my latest & greatest rescue – by spiritual coincidence just over 9 years ago, before Layla’s reawakening, which though the location is far off my typical beaten paths it would still have been a wondrous discovery to know of this place in its thriving 8-year existence; I could have recommended to people I know at a more convenient remove therefrom. Well, congratulations to both Ms. Geller & Mr. MacDougall, & very best wishes to all. I may not in spite of the famous tune being 1 of my absolute favorite roadsongs ever have an animal by that name – with unique monikers like Goldenrod, Andromeda, Burntwood & Blackwater bestowed from the heart, “Layla” though beloved is somewhat pedestrian in comparison – but I will now ever keep it even more so, after this unfortunately too-late revelation, which I nonetheless will share far &/or wide. Peace & happiness & safety and, no less importantly, the binding love of companion animals to each & everyone!
Be well Sandy, and please get your health running smoothly. Best wishes for you and your kids (pups) and good luck on your new pet working organisation.❤️👍👍