Somehow, I don’t think everyone’s favorite, and at the same time least favorite, ad exec Don Draper (talk about a complex character) really minded that much. Fans of “Mad Men” probably saw the Drapers’ trip to Howard Johnson in Sunday’s episode and, if you’re a hotel aficionado like I am, probably thought, “cool!” That, of course, was in between wondering what the heck is wrong with a guy who leaves his young wife alone at a roadside motor lodge—no matter how iconic it is.
Quick digression: I can’t wait for that HoJo brand resurgence, Wyndham Hotel Group. The thought of clams and orange sherbet certainly brought back childhood memories.
Obviously, the good folks in Parsippany, N.J., who oversee the iconic hotel brand with the orange roof saw it too, because they’ve issued a tongue-in-cheek apology to the fictional Mr. Draper, who arrived at the upstate New York HoJo only to find out the swimming pool was closed due to an unfortunate accident.
But that little aspect of the episode may turn out to work to the benefit of HoJo guests in real life—that is, if your name is legally Don Draper. Today, HoJo released said tongue-in-cheek apology to all of the Don Drapers of the world for the fictional pool closing, and the brand is offering those real-life Don Drapers a free stay to make up for it.
Now through May 8, 2012, any traveler with the legal name Don Draper can book a free one-night stay this summer at one of eight Howard Johnson hotels throughout the United States.
“At Howard Johnson hotels, our owners strive to give each and every guest a great stay, one that creates the same happy-filled memories that the brand’s legacy is built upon,” said Rui Barros, Howard Johnson brand senior vice president, in a press release about the promotion. “Unfortunately, sometimes things happen that are beyond our control. This is our way of showing Mr. Draper that we value him as a guest and hope to welcome him back soon.”
To get the Don Draper rate, reservations must be booked by May 8, 2012, and the stay must be completed by Aug. 31, 2012. Guests will need to show ID at check-in.
Travelers not named Don Draper who are looking for a great rate can still save 20 percent when they book a three-night consecutive stay using www.hojo.com, the company said.
Either way, just don’t ditch your wife in the parking lot!