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Howard Johnson by Wyndham celebrated its largest design-refresh in more than 25 years, giving New Yorkers a “sweet peek” at its new hotel rooms via a candy-inspired pop-up event. From August 22 to 23, tourists and locals alike were invited to visit “HoJo’s Sweet Escape” and “check-in” to the city’s newest accommodations: an all-candy re-creation—think marshmallows, jellybeans, licorice and more—of one of Howard Johnson’s retro-cool hotel rooms, featuring modern design with a playful nod to the nostalgic days of orange roofs, ice cream, and family road trips.
“Howard Johnson is one of those brands that is embedded in the hearts and minds of travelers young and old, the world over,” says Clem Bence, Vice President of Operations and Brand Leader for Howard Johnson. “Say ‘HoJo’ and people can’t help but smile as they think back on the memories they’ve made with us over the decades. Our new look and feel seeks to celebrate our storied past while looking to the future with modern amenities, playful design, and a re-imagined aesthetic that is distinctly Howard Johnson.”
Howard Johnson’s re-imagined guestrooms take their inspiration from classic mid-century modern design while adding contemporary accents that place an emphasis on connectivity—designed to appeal to on-the-go travelers who want to plug-in and re-charge. Among other design aspects are: a playful marshmallow-wall mirror, sleek vinyl upholstered headboards, and custom abstract art showcasing the brand’s gate lodge roofline. Guests will also find the brand’s signature colors, orange and turquoise, on display throughout the room.
Bence adds, “We wanted this design to do more than just please the eye; we wanted it to spark conversation and delight our multi-generational guests, thoughtfully marrying the old with the new. The end result is a familiar, nostalgic experience that at the same time is both elevated and entirely new.”
Currently, more than 70 percent of Howard Johnson hotels across the United States and Canada have started or completed renovations in line with the new design package, with the majority of hotels expected to have completed the refresh by the summer of 2020. Once they do, the brand estimates that Howard Johnson hotel owners will have invested more than $40 million into elevating the on-property experience at more than 200 Howard Johnson hotels.
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