Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Like A Good Neighbor: Hojo Motor Lodge

It is difficult to do Disneyland in one day; throw in Disney California Adventure and you will almost guarantee the necessity of an overnight stay. While the Disney Resort Hotels are lovely and (obviously) themed appropriately, the availability and cost often make that choice impossible. One of the favorite "Good Neighbor Hotels" is the Howard Johnson's, conveniently located across from the park on the other side of Harbor Boulevard. Built in 1965, the exterior has changed very little in the last 50 years. The first image for today is from September 1970 and shows the hotel's old Trolley parked in front. Back then, the seven acre property was referred to as a "Motor Lodge."

Today, the retro looking HoJo is still a guest favorite. The architecture of William Pereira has stood the test of time! An interesting side note is that Pereira was also the architect for the original Disneyland Hotel.

As a child, I remember what a treat it was to eat at one of the Howard Johnson restaurants along the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Some were full-service, while others were more of a quick-serve format. This vintage October 1960 image shows a typical orange-roofed Howard Johnson Restaurant at some unspecified location in the good ol' U.S. of A.

How many of you remember eating off of plates such as this one, featuring the Simple Simon and the Pieman logo by artist John Alcott?

Thanks to a little butterfat and twenty-eight different flavors of ice cream, Howard Johnson's Restaurants had a long string of success, branching out into the hotel business in 1954. Today, only two Howard Johnson Restaurants remain: one in Bangor, Maine, and the other in Lake Placid. Although there are just 14 flavors of ice cream appearing on the menu, nostalgic diners can still feast on a plate of fried clams, the restaurant's signature dish.

See more Howard Johnson, Anaheim photos on my Hotel web page.


CoxPilot said...

We ate at HJ's many times in Bangor, Maine, while living near there in Winterport for 6 years. Loved it, and the state too. Just couldn't put up with the high taxes and heating costs any more. I would go back in a shot if those things would ever change.

Anonymous said...

Oh yes, I remember this well. We stayed at the hotel, only once as I recall. Not sure why, since it seems like a nice place. Dad preferred the Jolly Roger down the block. Maybe HoJo's cost more?

It's a wonderful building, we all love it now that the style is back in fashion, but I remember in the '80's, this look was a big negative.

There were not many HoJo's near where we lived in Central California, but they were a familiar stop on our out-of-state ventures. That orange roof and odd birdhouse, as well as the plate pattern are very familiar to me. I had forgotten the fried clams till this very minute.

Thank you, Dave.


K. Martinez said...

I don't know how many different "Good Neighbor Hotels" I've stayed at through the years, but I did stay at Howard Johnson's twice in the 1980s. It was definitely one of the nicer hotels in the area.

Nowadays I just stay at the Anabella. Since I only use it as a place to sleep it does the job. Nice grounds, clean and close enough for a good healthy walk to and from the Resort.

I love your image of the vintage Howard Johnson in Anytown, U.S.A.

Monica said...

Only once have we stayed at a Disney hotel. With 7 of us, the price of a "good neighbor hotel" was always more appealing than a Disney themed room that we'd spend hardly any time in. My husband and I stayed at that Howard Johnson on our honeymoon!

Lizzy Tex Borden said...

And H.J.'s also has the Mattercam on their website. About the only 24 hour a day live glimpse of Disneyland and California Adventure I am aware of.