A Sneak Peek at Howard Johnson Anaheim’s Retro Redo

There is nothing I like more than a mid-century business fully embracing their history and running with it, and that is exactly what the Howard Johnson here in Anaheim has done.

Recently, this HoJo decided it was time for a renovation, and they looked to the past for inspiration. Located right across the street from Disneyland, and built in 1965 with a spectacular scallop roofed lobby, the hotel is already a mid-century masterpiece, but now their rooms fit their exterior image, with bright colors, fun patterns, and furnishings that echo the 1960s perfectly, while also keeping up-to-date technology in mind for their guests. Plus, they have a fun mini-waterpark!

To celebrate the grand re-opening of this newly refurbished wing, they teamed up with my friend Stephanie, of Photography by Stephanie, for a vintage-inspire photoshoot, along with hosting a party, complete with Charles Phoenix to talk about the history of Howard Johnson hotels.

The photos below are a mix of my own and Stephanie’s. All un-watermarked photos are property and courtesy of Photography by Stephanie.

HoJo's lobby, a scolloped roofline creates large arched windows for the lobby.

The kiddy pirate themed water park at the HoJo, a large group of us enjoying the park in vintage swimwear

Me, in a vintage orange, pink, and white swimsuit.

Me, in a vintage orange, pink, and white swimsuit, and my friend Kiley in a vintage purple floral swimsuit

Behind the scenes - Stephanie photographs Tyler and Cailey as they enjoy the pirate waterpark

Charles Phoenix, in his orange suit, speaks about the history of HoJo.

Concept art for the Anaheim HoJo, with several mid-century buildings, and Disneyland peeking out of the lower left corner.

A massive orange lawn chair sits in HoJo's parking lot for photos, me atop it in my Swirl dress.

One of the towers, with a scolloped roofline where the patios are for the rooms.

Inside the lobby, with white walls, a graceful wavy check-in counter.

Mosaic florors featuring a turtle and fish, inside the lobby of the HoJo

Me, walking along the paths between the complexes, wearing a multi-tone green, yellow, and turquoise stripe Swirl dress.

The hallway lobby of one of the towers, featuring geometric patterned carpet, blue walls, and a yellow and multi-colored geometric patterned couch.

One of the retro HoJo cups, orange and turquoise stripes and a circular logo reading "Howard Johnson Anaheim, Happy Since 1965"

Inside one of the new rooms, stripe carpet, orange curtains, yellow couch, and vintage Pirates of the Caribbean concept art hanging on the wall.

Inside one of the new rooms, wearing the stripe Swirl dress

Friends and I with Charles Phoenix, in vintage swimwear, and him in a sparkling orange suit.

Left to right: Charles Phoenix, myself, Kiley (CaliforniaKiley), Cailey (DoleWhipDame & TikiKikiVintage), and Tyler (DapperDisneyGent & DapperDasheryWares)

After our photoshoot, a few of us decided to stick around and take an actual dip in the pool, which is why we ended up ind different swimsuits in that last photo! Charles jumped in for a quick photo before we got soaked!

My dad and I actually stayed at this HoJo a couple years ago, shortly after their lobby restoration, so was thrilled to be a part of this event to promote a hotel I already enjoyed and recommended to friends. And a tip, if you love those cups just as much as I do, you can purchase ceramic versions in their gift shop! And, yes, I got one! Want to stay here? Visit their website!

Check out Charles Phoenix‘s video about the HoJo here.

Love Stephanie’s photos? Be sure to check her out on these platforms:

And, yes, she is available for shoots!

Vintage Orange, Pink, & White Swimsuit: Courtesy of Rios Originals
Necklace: Iconic Atomic, Palm Springs, California
Vintage Green, Yellow & Turquoise Swirl Dress: Dapper Day Expo
Shoes: Re-Mix
Bangles: Here and there
Retro Blue Swimsuit: Tatyana (back when it was Bettie Page)

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