A well-known, mid-priced national and international hotel chain where kids always stay free.. In Short Howard Johnson's story began in 1925, with an ice cream stand that soon became a chain of orange-roofed restaurants, and eventually motor lodges. Today, the hotels offer quality accommodations at value prices for families and business travelers. Comforts of Home amenities include in-room coffeemakers, complimentary weekday newspapers and more. Most locations offer Home Office rooms, with work desks and chairs, and Crayola Kids Rooms, with Crayola easels and accessories, plus a mini-fridge and microwave.