Strange Planet: America’s Best Bathrooms

Traveler intern Daniel Bortz hates having to scour for a safe, clean restroom. Luckily a new list of America’s top ten helps solve that problem, offering more from a bathroom than ever imagined.

When ya gotta go, you might as well ENVY_Muse.jpgflush with class. And comfort. And style. In a time of need, a quality restroom can glimmer like a tiled, mirrored oasis. Travelers often find themselves in hairy situations, unsure of where the nearest, safest bathroom is when the need comes while mountain climbing in Salt Lake City, catching some sun on the Santa Monica pier, or even walking the busy streets of New York City.

Well bathroom goers near and far, your search for a decent washroom just got easier. The results for America‘s 10 best restrooms are in, and they probably all outdo that basic toilet and sink space you have at home.

The list, compiled by Cintas, showcases bathrooms like the private restrooms at Kimpton’s The Muse Hotel in Times Square, each designed to illustrate a vice: glam, envy, vanity, rebel, macho, and lust. Hotel guests step into a stark white chamber, representing purgatory, before choosing their path. Bathroom goers feeling a little unruly can enter Rebel, where shattered mirrors don the walls and a dramatic, black, gothic-inspired chandelier descends from the ceiling, while those a tad greedier can enjoy the green marble and mosaic tile lining the surfaces in Envy.

Other highlights on the Top Ten list include the bathroom in The Fountain on Locust — a vintage ice-cream parlor and the most photographed restaurant in St. Louis — featuring hand-painted murals, elaborate fixtures, and designer mirrors that range in size and shape, creating almost a playhouse feel that pays homage to childhood and imagination. The Embassy Theatre in Fort Wayne, Indiana, a majestic backdrop honoring old-style film houses built in 1928, presents restrooms complete with Egyptian designs, gold columns, and personal fireplaces.

Joe’s Farm Grill in Gilbert, Arizona displays TVs over each stall, enabling men to enjoy a constant stream of Stingray and Thunderbirds.

The restrooms in the Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino Las Vegas even treat patrons to cable TV, each individual pod equipped with its own flat-screen, a dazzling fountain greeting visitors in the entryway that lights up, gleaming a hazy blue under the desert night sky.

While the ten finalists are all unique, they share one common trait: cleanliness. They each place high value on hygiene and maintaining a step above sanitary conditions. Its required by Cintas for inclusion on the list, and we couldn’t be happier. Not only do we now have ten safe public restrooms to tend to ourselves in private, but they’re also cool places to hang out in and explore. We just hope we don’t get too comfortable and want to stay — these are bathrooms, after all.

See all ten of America’s best bathrooms and vote for your favorite here before the winner is picked August 31.

Thumbnail image for NYMUX-01.jpgPhotos: The green-tiled, Envy themed restroom in NYC’s Muse Hotel and waiting room outside the six vices, courtesy of Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants


    July 16, 2010, 12:06 am

    thanks very much for sharing this with us