Vanda Smrkovski: A Hotel Hell Tale

vanda smrkovski

The Notorious Smrkovski Sisters and Hotel Hell Backlash

Vanda Smrkovski, renowned for her appearance on Hotel Hell featuring Calumet Inn, found herself entangled in a legal saga post-2014. The Smrkovski sisters, Rina and Vanda, earned a dubious reputation among the show’s fans for their perceived ignorance and entitlement.

Calumet Inn: Beyond the Reality Show Fallout

The aftermath of the Hotel Hell episode on August 18, 2014, led to unexpected consequences for Calumet Inn. Despite Ramsay’s intervention in attracting new business, Vanda opted to sell the historic business in 2015, a mere few years after the show aired.

Legal Quandaries and Changing Ownership

A failed initial sale prompted Tammy Grubbs, the inn’s general manager, to enter a contract for deed with Heliocentrix LLC in 2018. Unfortunately, the inn faced condemnation by Pipestone City in 2020 due to safety concerns, resulting in a prolonged legal battle.

Condemnation and Legal Wrangling

The condemnation of Calumet Inn triggered protests, with Grubbs and Heliocentrix LLC filing a complaint against the city and officials, alleging violations of due process and constitutional rights. However, the protests led to a brief reopening in 2020, a “nightmarish domino effect” forced closure in 2022.

Timeline of Calumet Inn’s Legal Struggles

  • March 10, 2020: Calumet Inn condemned; vacate notice issued
  • Nov 13, 2019 – Mar 9, 2020: Follow-up inspections
  • Apr 30, 2020: Appeal filed
  • Apr 30, 2020: Condemned signs removed
  • May 6, 2022: Calumet Inn closure
  • Nov 10, 2022: Lawsuit filed
  • Dec 8, 2022: City and Fortune file their answer

Hotel Hell Fallout: Smrkovski’s Perspective

Despite apparent success post-Hotel Hell, Vanda’s deleted post for Pipestone County Star revealed her displeasure, describing the filming experience as akin to “walking from one bear trap into another.” The sisters’ involvement in a competing show, Resort Rescue, further emphasized their dissatisfaction.

The Internet Hoax and Personal Intricacies

Apart from the Hotel Hell aftermath and the legal battle, the Smrkovski sisters found themselves embroiled in an internet missing person hoax. Fortunately, it appears to be pure fiction, dispelling rumors about their well-being.

Ongoing Legal Battle and Settlement Prospects

The lawsuit initiated in 2020 is still unresolved. A recent pretrial conference in February 2023 paved the way for a settlement conference on December 20, 2023. The outcome will determine whether the condemnation violated rights, potentially awarding damages exceeding $75,000. If unresolved, a trial may ensue as early as April 2024.


In conclusion, the tumultuous journey of Calumet Inn, propelled into the limelight by Hotel Hell, reflects a saga of legal entanglements, shifting ownership, and the repercussions of reality show exposure. The Smrkovski sisters, initially known for their controversial portrayal, grappled with the aftermath, facing condemnation and a subsequent legal battle that has endured since 2020.

Despite a brief respite in 2020 after public protests, the inn’s closure in 2022 underscored the enduring challenges triggered by the condemnation. Vanda’s discontent with the reality show echoed in Resort Rescue and added layers to their narrative. Beyond legal strife, the sisters encountered an internet hoax, emphasizing the complexities surrounding their personal lives.

As the lawsuit progresses toward a pivotal settlement conference in December 2023, the fate of Calumet Inn hangs in the balance. The ongoing legal saga serves as a cautionary tale of the multifaceted consequences that can unfold when reality television intertwines with real-world challenges.


What led to the condemnation of Calumet Inn?

The condemnation of Calumet Inn stemmed from safety concerns, as it was deemed a fire hazard by the city of Pipestone in 2020. This led to legal disputes and a subsequent legal battle that has endured since.

How did the Smrkovski sisters react to their portrayal of Hotel Hell?

Despite initial success, Vanda Smrkovski expressed dissatisfaction in a deleted post, likening the filming experience to “walking from one bear trap into another.” The sisters’ participation in Resort Rescue further highlighted their discontent.

What role did Tammy Grubbs play in the inn’s ownership transition?

Tammy Grubbs, the inn’s general manager, entered a contract for deed with Heliocentrix LLC (owned by Vanda Smrkovski) in 2018, attempting to take over Calumet Inn after the initial sale fell through.

Was the internet missing person hoax about the Smrkovski sisters true?

No, the internet hoax suggesting the Smrkovski sisters had gone missing was debunked. They have kept their personal lives private, and as of the latest information, they are alive and safe.

What is the current status of the legal battle surrounding Calumet Inn?

The legal battle initiated in 2020 is ongoing, with a pretrial conference held in February 2023. A pivotal settlement conference is scheduled for December 20, 2023, to determine the resolution of alleged constitutional violations and potential monetary damages exceeding $75,000. If unresolved, a trial may occur as early as April 2024.

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