Reality

Hotel Hell: Why Mandy Thompson left the historic Calumet Inn

Given what the reviews have to say, not much changed at the Calumet Inn after Gordon Ramsay and the Hotel Hell team left.

The owners of the lodging establishments featured on Gordon Ramsay’s show Hotel Hell are frequently portrayed as being ignorant, arrogant, or a combination of the two.

But Rina and Vanda Smrkovski from the Calumet Inn pretty much take the cake when it comes to poor management.

Not only had Rina taken a three-month vacation only weeks into getting the inn, but the two sisters had managed to turn pretty much  every member of staff against them.

This includes Mandy Thompson, who had been stripped of her former General Manager title.

The situation at the Calumet Inn was so dire that Ramsay could not see the business continuing with Rina and Vanda in charge, and actually ended up basically begging Mandy to come back.

The Smrkovski sisters seemingly reverted back to their old ways

It seemed like the Calumet Inn had just a glimmer of a chance at succeeding at the end of the Hotel Hell episode, which was filmed around May of 2013.

But it seems like it did not take long for things to return to the way they were before once the episode had aired.

Rina and Vanda moved to sell the Calumet Inn (for the first time) in May of 2016, and from the reviews posted during this time, it seems like not much had changed at the inn.

One Yelp reviewer ended their April 2016 review with a damning “I would recommend you go anywhere else while in pipestone.”

Another review from 2014 read, “Not impressed at all with the hotel customer service” and gave the inn just two out of five stars.

As a result, although Mandy keeps her life fairly private, it is fair to assume that this reinstated General Manager likely left the Calumet Inn shortly after filming. Likely for the exact same reasons why she left the business during the episode.

A look into what the Calumet Inn reviews say

If you tuned in to watch this episode of Hotel Hell, you will already know that the Calumet Inn seemed all over the place when it came to basic things like cleaning and service.

And if the inn’s reviews are anything to go by, none of that changed after Ramsay’s intervention in 2013.

The Calumet Inn’s incredibly polarized reviews can be summarized as follows:

Review site 5-star reviews 4-star reviews 3-star reviews 2-star reviews 1-star reviews
Yelp 5 6 2 2 9
TripAdvisor 39 18 12 2 9

What Vanda Smrkovski had to say Ramsay and Hotel Hell

Unlike most of the other Hotel Hell owners who pretty much disappear after facing Ramsay’s wrath on national television, Vanda Smrkovski seems to have welcomed the additional attention and even agreed to write several journal entries about her experience being on the show.

Vanda details several “lessons” which she had learned whilst filming for Hotel Hell in this three-part editorial.

But interestingly enough,  she seemingly did not find filming for the show all that bad, even going as far as admitting that she “probably would” do it all again.

What happened after the Hotel Hell episode was filmed?

Besides Vanda’s detailed account of what went into applying for and being on Hotel Hell, the Smrkovski sisters have been fairly quiet since their first attempt to sell the inn fell through.

However, if we take another glance at some of the inn’s more recent reviews, it seems like they have definitely had a few staff changes (that is, of course, before they entered into a contract with Tammy Grubbs in 2018 to sell the hotel).

One Yelp review form March, 2016 mention a manager named “Chellsea”, while a TripAdvisor review from July 2015 mentioned both that Mandy was no longer working at the Calumet Inn and that Vanda (who you may recognize from the Hotel Hell episode) “is back”.

Is the Calumet Inn still open?

The Smrkovski sisters were no doubt in a hurry to get the Calumet Inn sold after Ramsay basically kicked them out of their own business. But unfortunately, the inn’s sale has dragged on for several years.

The first buyer, with whom Vanda and Rina had gone back and forth with for ten months to finalise the sale, ultimately pulled out and the sisters took the business back in 2018.

Then the second buyer, Calumet Inn employee, Tammy Grubbs, was forced to close down the inn in May 2022 after a drawn-out legal battle with the city, which started after the building was deemed  a fire risk and was ultimately condemned in 2020.