Wait — was that a pool filled with faux marshmallows and the world's first all-candy hotel room with a dresser fashioned from M&Ms and a television created out of licorice? Family Traveller stopped by HoJo's Sweet Escape, a late-summer pop-up installation in New York City to check out a series of deliciously colorful displays that give a snapshot of what's going on at the all-new Howard Johnson by Wyndham.
Yes, the HoJo that you thought you knew — the roadside motel brand with its iconic orange roof — is reinventing itself for the next generation.
"Howard Johnson is one of those brands that is embedded in the hearts and minds of travelers young and old, the world over," said Clem Bence, vice president of operations and brand leader for Howard Johnson. "Say 'HoJo' and people can't help but to smile."
The brand is in the process of rolling out its largest design-refresh in more than 25 years. So far, 70% of properties in the U.S. and Canada have a new look, and the rest of the brand is going under the knife, too. Expect bright shades of orange, mid-century modern inspired furniture, oversized (and Instagram-perfect) beach chairs, colorful pools and more, as HoJo embraces its retro-cool roots.
Want to check out HoJo’s Sweet Escape? Get there fast. The New York City pop-up will be open to the public on August 23 from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. at 393 Broadway in Tribeca. Walk-ins — especially kids — are welcome.
And if you don't make it to the pop-up, no worries: You can check out HoJo's new look at locations like Anaheim, California, conveniently located to Disneyland.
By Laura Begley Bloom