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Howard Johnson Anaheim's 'retro cool' suite channels a defunct Disneyland attraction

Aug. 13, 2022
4 min read
Howard Johnson Anaheim's 'retro cool' suite channels a defunct Disneyland attraction
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As you walk through the entrance tunnel at Disneyland and step onto Main Street, U.S.A., you pass under a plaque that states, "Here you leave today and enter the world of yesterday, tomorrow and fantasy."

For millions of guests every year since 1955, Disneyland evokes a sense of nostalgia. And while it certainly has the fantasy thing nailed down, "tomorrow" is a bit trickier — because it so quickly becomes, well, yesterday.

Related: Where to stay at Disneyland: On vs. off-property hotel comparisons

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One of the park's early attempts at predicting the future was the Monsanto House of the Future attraction that operated in Tomorrowland from 1957 to 1967.

This walk-through prototype home was meant to give visitors a glimpse into what home life could look like in the decades to come, including colorful plastic furniture, state-of-the-art appliances and a "floating" design with four cantilevered wings jutting out from a concrete pillar at the center.

(Photo by Bettmann/Getty Images)

The home wouldn't feel very modern by today's standards, but a popular hotel just down the street from Disneyland is reviving the home's midcentury modern design with its own retro cool suite where guests can experience yesterday's tomorrow today.

(Photo courtesy of Howard Johnson Anaheim)

The Howard Johnson Anaheim Hotel & Water Playground recently opened a "House of the Retro Future Suite," with design elements and decor influenced by Disneyland's Monsanto House of the Future.

Related: Disneyland vs. Disney World: Which is the better park to visit?

Similarities between the Howard Johnson suite and the Disneyland attraction range from thoughtful touches like an in-room turntable and records to retro furniture by Modernica and Herman Miller and era-appropriate lighting by Restoration Hardware.

(Photo courtesy of Howard Johnson Anaheim)

Pops of Howard Johnson's signature orange and turquoise are injected throughout the suite's vibrant color scheme. At the same time, modern touches like in-room Alexa devices that allow for voice-activated lighting and thermostat controls and a touch-activated light on the bathroom mirror provide the suite with features that still feel a bit futuristic today.

(Photo courtesy of Howard Johnson Anaheim)

While we are more than happy to stare at photos of the suite all day, if you hope to actually stay there, you may be interested in some of the more practical details. The House of the Retro Future suite has a bedroom with two queen beds, a living area with multiple seating options, a dining table and a kitchenette plus a large bathroom with a separate shower and vanity area.

(Photo courtesy of Howard Johnson Anaheim)

The suite sleeps up to four guests and is available for two-night stays beginning Aug. 12, 2022. The cost for a two-night stay is $1,957, which was chosen based on the year (1957) the Monsanto House of the Future attraction opened at Disneyland.

(Photo courtesy of Howard Johnson Anaheim)

Of course, it isn't only the House of the Retro Future suite that evokes the midcentury modern style that was so prevalent in the 1950s and 1960s. Howard Johnson itself came of age during this time, opening its first location in 1954 and this particular location on July 16, 1965 — almost 10 years to the day after Disneyland's own grand opening.

(Photo courtesy of Howard Johnson Anaheim)

To this day, the Howard Johnson Anaheim Hotel has one foot in the present and one in its retro roots. Thanks to a recent multi-million dollar renovation, all 296 standard guest rooms and 16 suites have touches that harken back to the brand's early days with touches of that familiar orange and turquoise color scheme and furniture inspired by popular 1950s-era designers like George Nelson, Herman Miller and Eero Saarinen.

The hotel is a quick, eight-minute walk from Disneyland's front gates and also has its own on-property fun in the form of a pirate-themed water playground, a heated outdoor pool and Disneyland fireworks views.

Visit the House of the Retro Future Suite page on the hotel's website for more information on booking a reservation.

Featured image by (Photo courtesy of Howard Johnson Anaheim)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
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  • Intro Offer
    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

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  • Annual Fee

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    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

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Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

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  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
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  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

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  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases