(keep reading to learn what happened)
Season: 1 | View All Season 1 Episodes
Original Episode Air Date: August 13, 2012
Juniper Hill Inn Address: 153 Pembroke Rd Windsor, VT 05089
Juniper Hill Inn was a Windsor, Vermont hotel featured on Season 1 of Hotel Hell. It was the first hotel that Gordon Ramsay ever visited.
Though the Juniper Hill Inn Hotel Hell episode aired in August 2012, the actual filming and visit from Gordon Ramsay took place much earlier in February 2012.
It was Season 1 Episode 1 of Hotel Hell.
Juniper Hill Inn is a 100-year-old hotel located in Windsor, VT.
It’s owned by Robert Dean II and his boyfriend, Ari Nikki, who purchased the hotel in 2005 for $1.6 million.
That means they’ve owned the Juniper Hill Inn Vermont location for around 7 years at the time of the visit from Gordon Ramsay.
The inn itself is 15,000 square feet and it’s surrounded by 14 acres of beautiful property.
As a result of the steep purchase price, they are deep in debt. However, Robert still lives a life of luxury.
His friends stay at the hotel and eat there for free, which isn’t a good plan for a serious business.
When Gordon Ramsay arrives at the hotel, he loves the beauty of the exterior but is surprised to find the front door locked.
Gordon goes to his room, but it smells terrible.
To avoid the problem, he asks the front desk to move him to another room.
He is told the restaurant is only open for breakfast and dinner when he goes to eat lunch.
You have to request a meal during the day, which is a bit odd.
Gordon meets with staff member Barbara who says she is rarely paid on time.
This is kind of a slap in the face given the life that Robert and Ari are living.
There are no prices on the menu because they have a Price-fixed dinner menu for $59 a person.
The food Gordon orders is smelly and foul tasting.
Let’s be honest, that’s pretty much par for the course for a Hotel Hell episode.
Robert Dean II tells Gordon Ramsay that locals do not visit the restaurant.
Gordon enjoys his dessert but finds out that it is bought somewhere else, so the one thing he likes doesn’t even come from Juniper Hill Inn. Lol!
Gordon leaves to visit the former chef, Ida. She said Robert had stopped answering the phone.
She was never paid on time and had to purchase items for the hotel on her credit card.
Gordon asks if she wants to return after the renovations, but she declines.
Ari Nikki meets with Gordon and confesses he poured his life savings into the hotel, and Robert spends all of his money on antiques.
With a $1.6 million purchase price, it’s no wonder that there’s a lot of stress.
Gordon watches a dinner service, and it is complete chaos. Gordon confronts Robert about his friends not tipping, but Robert takes the tips they left for the servers.
The antiques are not worth much money because they are in poor condition.
Gordon tells Robert he should sell the Juniper Hill Inn if he isn’t going to take his advice.
Gordon asks the chef to make three dishes for a new menu, and Robert is impressed.
The owners apologize to the employees for not tipping them on time.
Gordon updates the hotel.
It is now warm and welcoming.
He also improved the dining room.
He left the rooms alone because they were in good condition, but he did turn the second dining room into a bar named the Blue Bar.
During the relaunch, they do a Sunday dinner service.
Everything is going great until a staff member asks Ari and Robert to remove their poodle.
Then there is a fight.
Gordon makes Robert apologize for yelling.
The kitchen struggles, but they get back on track after a quick pep talk.
The locals and a hotel inspector love the changes made to the hotel.
So was the Juniper Hill Inn Hotel Hell episode a success?
Keep reading our update to learn what happened next and how the Windsor, Vermont hotel is doing in 2024 and beyond.
Juniper Hill Inn Update - What Happened Next?
So – was the Juniper Hill Inn Hotel Hell episode a success? Let’s talk about what happened after Gordon Ramsay left Windsor, Vermont.
Unfortunately, there were a lot of problems.
There was a lot of staff turnover that happened between the Hotel Hell visit and the actual airing on TV, which means that a lot of the staff you saw on the episode (including the chef) weren’t there anymore.
Additionally, the reviews were still generally poor even after the changes made by Gordon Ramsay.
As you’d expect, Ari and Robert were not really happy with how they were portrayed in the show.
At first, they seemed somewhat appreciative, posting the following message on Facebook around the time that the episode aired on TV:
However, when I was browsing around for this update, I found a response to a Yelp review from Robert Dean that shows how that first post was a bit “PR”, so to speak.
Here’s a snippet of the most relevant part, but I’ll post the full screenshot below:
I also wish to point out that the Gordon Ramsay show “Hotel Hell” in NO WAY reflects on what or who we are as people or as a business.
It is easy to create a show out of 300 plus hours of filming and edit it to death to insure that the host and network make great money and top ratings.
We certainly are not perfect and had things that we needed to work on in addition to facing many personal issues that certainly affected our business including two catastrophic illnesses in our family, aging family members for whom we care and the loss of my partners job.
We CARE a great deal about our guests and the historic mansion in which the inn is housed and we invite you to see for yourself what Juniper Hill Inn is all about.
We have also recently brought on new Innkeeper’s who share our passion for this place and all of us hope that you will try again to reach us.
Juniper Hill Inn has won MANY awards and our personal issues are, God willing, mostly behind us.
We look forward to a bright future and regaining what we were and hope that everyone reading this will realize that “reality” television often is not about “reality” but ratings and profits for the hosts and the networks.
As you can see in that screenshot above, the Juniper Hill Inn was having a lot of issues with falling behind on payments, which makes sense given what you’ll learn next…
Is Juniper Hill Inn from Hotel Hell still open?
Juniper Hill Inn closed for good in April 2013, just a year after the Juniper Hill Inn Hotel Hell episode aired on TV.
The hotel closed because it was foreclosed on by the bank due to the large debt incurred by Robert and Ari.
At the time of the closure, the Juniper Hill Inn owners were six months behind on their mortgage and owed the bank a whopping $1,163,355.
Beyond the debt to the bank, they also owed the city of Windsor $80,000-$85,000 in back taxes.
The bar was sold to new owners in 2014 at a foreclosure auction for just $405,000 after initially starting the bidding at $1 million.
As of 2023, the hotel is doing business at the same location under new ownership and a new name.
It’s now called the Windsor Mansion Inn.
Reviews for Windsor Mansion Inn seem very good as it has a perfect 5-star rating on TripAdvisor.
Room rates for the Windsor Mansion Inn start at around $150 per night.
Here’s the Windsor Mansion Inn TripAdvisor page, but keep reading to learn what happened to the Juniper Hill Inn owners.
In an interesting note, the owner of the new Windsor Mansion Inn also seems like an interesting character.
In November 2016, the Windsor Mansion Inn owner was charged with firing a bullet through his ex-employee’s truck (the employee was not shot).
What happened to the owners of Juniper Hill Inn?
In addition to the debt that the Juniper Hill Inn owners incurred (which led to the closure of the hotel, as I detailed above), the owners had a number of other issues, including legal problems.
Ari Nikki, one of the co-owners, was arrested in 2015 and charged with an alleged assault on a law enforcement officer in Hillsborough County, FL.
However, the charges were eventually dropped, though Ari did end up spending some time in jail before that happened.
You can see the arrest report here.
So I’m not totally sure what happened here. It doesn’t seem that serious if they eventually dropped the charges.
Robert Dean was the one who posted the bond for Ari in that arrest, so it appears that they’re still together.
As of 2022, Ari Nikki seems to be living in Palm Beach, Florida.
I don’t know much beyond that, though, as Robert and Ari don’t seem to have much of an online presence.
Are Ari Nikki and Robert Dean II still a couple?
As far as I can tell, Ari and Robert are still together.
Ari’s Facebook profile lists him as in a relationship since 2004, which would be his relationship with Robert Dean II.
As I mentioned above, they moved down to Florida together.
Fun fact – Gordon Ramsay didn’t actually stay at Juniper Hill Inn during filming
Thank you to the commenter below who alerted me to this story…
While Gordon spent a lot of time working at Juniper Hill Inn during the Juniper Hill Inn Hotel Hell episode, Gordon didn’t actually sleep there.
Instead, he stayed at a nearby hotel named Snapdragon Inn.
I guess the Juniper Hill Inn Vermont location wasn’t up to Gordon’s standards?
At least not before Gordon got to work his magic on the inn.
If you want to learn more and see some behind-the-scenes pictures and videos, you can check out this blog post on the Snapdragon Inn website.
Update – the Snapdragon Inn website is expired now.
However, I’ve added a screenshot of the blog post below:
You can also find it on archive.org.
Final thoughts on Juniper Hill Inn
To recap everything above, Juniper Hill Inn closed in 2013 because of major debt, owing the bank $1.1 million and the city of Windsor, VT $80,000.
The hotel was sold to new owners.
As of 2023, the old Juniper Hill Vermont location is occupied by a new hotel called the Windsor Mansion Inn.
Robert Dean and Ari Nikki, the Juniper Hill Inn owners, seem to have moved to Florida after selling the hotel in 2014.
Though Ari seems to have had a run-in with the police in 2015, the charges were dropped so it doesn’t seem that serious.
If you know anything else, please let me know in the comments.
And if you still have any questions that you want me to research, please let me know that, too.
👉 Read other Season 1 updates:
- Next episode – Cambridge Hotel update
What did you think about the Juniper Hill Inn Hotel Hell episode? I'd love it if you shared your thoughts on the episode in the comments below!
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And don't forget to check out the full Hotel Hell open and closed list.
Last updated: 2023-12-08 05:07