Pipestone inn owner reflects on craziness of shooting 'Hotel Hell' episode


One of the owners of the Historic Calumet Inn in southwestern Pipestone, Minnesota, is reflecting on the chaotic – and sometimes painful – reality TV experience that put her hotel in the national spotlight.

Hosted by celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay, the Calumet episode of the show "Hotel Hell" aired on FOX Monday.


The Pioneer Press says "Hotel Hell" features Ramsay visiting "struggling hotels to pinpoint problems and implement solutions," and noted the fiery host had strong words for hotel owners and sisters Vanda and Rina Smrkovski in the show's preview clips.

Ramsey and his crew shot the episode May 28-June 1, 2013. The entire episode can be seen on the show's official website.

Vanda Smrkovski agreed to write a journal for The Pipestone County Journal that details the background on the hotel and the impact the show "Hotel Hell" had on her, her staff and the business operation.

Smrkovski and her sister were given the hotel as a gift from their father. She said that despite the crazy atmosphere of show, she would probably do it again.

"Every 10 minutes felt like walking from one bear trap into another," Smrkovski wrote in part three of her journal. "Being tarred and feathered for things I helped orchestrate, being crucified for things I had little or zero to do with, and being portrayed as a useless never-lift-a-finger-in-her-life-Paris-Hilton in the name of great television."


While the owner wrote positively of the experience, at least one of the reviews of the Calumet "Hotel Hell" episode came down hard on Smrkovski, 29, and her sister, 32.

In her review for Entertainment Weekly, contributing writer Michelle Newman called the Smrkovskis "two spoiled sisters" before launching into a detailed recap of the show and blistering criticism of the women. The blog Celebrity Dirty Laundry also has a recap of the episode.

Smrkovski likened filming "Hotel Hell" to a popular talk show known for its outrageous antics.

"Often feeling more like the 'Jerry Springer Show,' it was the trashiest, most barbaric three days of our lives ... Hours and hours of exhausting interviews and staged scenarios. Totally unscripted, yet completely choreographed, sabotaged, set-up, and sensationalized," Smrkovski wrote.

The inn also acknowledges the episode in a Facebook post, and even answers some fan questions.

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The Calumet Inn will be featured again in an episode of the Travel Channel's "Resort Rescue" in November, according to Smrkovski.

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