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Howard Johnson Hotels Are Getting a Mid-Century Modern Makeover | Frommer's Howard Johnson by Wyndham

Howard Johnson Hotels Are Getting a Mid-Century Modern Makeover

Once-ubiquitous hotel chain Howard Johnson is getting its first major design makeover in 25 years.

The refreshed look recalls HoJo's heyday in the 1950s and '60s, when the company was said to open a new motor lodge every two weeks and a new restaurant every nine days. The two halves of the business were eventually split, and hundreds of HoJo restaurants across the U.S. went kaput. The last holdout closed in 2017.

There are still more than 200 Howard Johnson hotels, however. They're now part of Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, which is spending upwards of $40 million to give each room a bright, Mid-Century Modern redo.

New in-room additions include curvilinear wall mirrors, vinyl-upholstered headboards, and abstract art that references the chain's iconic zigzagging roof. Splashes of the brand's signature colors, turquoise and orange, are applied liberally throughout.

The idea is to combine the old with the new—to that end, rooms also have plenty of spots to plug in electronic devices.

Renovations at hotels across the U.S. and Canada are about 70% complete, according to a news release. Wyndham expects to finish the project by the summer of 2020.