Thursday, July 30, 2009

America's Best Restroom Award

Yes, that is a toilet in the picture above. Can you imagine the thrill of visiting this beautiful "loo" and soaking up the view?!? You'll have to go to the Mix lounge at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nevada to experience this past winner of Best Restroom! Cintas will soon announce the winner of this years Best Restroom Award, online voting ends July 31st. It is a very private experience that happens in public places all over the world. Whether at a restaurant or a rest area, a high-rise office building or a "nice clean gas station," everyone at some point makes use of public facilities.The reality is that public restrooms matter to the public. The way a business or building treats its facilities is a reflection of its operating standards.In one recent survey, more than 75% of respondents said they would not return to a restaurant if the restrooms were not well kept.“What Makes a Public Restroom Great?”What makes the experience of using a public restroom something special? Is it style? Is it elegance? Is that restroom so clean you are almost ashamed to go home? Is it the view? All of these have been reasons cited for past nominees for the title of America's Best Restroom Award, presented by Cintas.

The Top 5 Winners Last Year Were:
The Hermitage Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee was last years winner. Named after Andrew Jackson's Hermitage estate, the hotel opened its doors in 1910. Only the finest materials were used: Italian sienna marble in the entrance; wall panels of Russian walnut; a cut, stained glass ceiling in the vaulted lobby; Persian rugs; and massive, overstuffed furniture. As Nashville's first million-dollar hotel, it was the preferred gathering place for the city's socialites. The Hermitage Hotel was a symbol of Nashville's emergence as a major Southern city. The restrooms reflect this care in craftsmanship as well.

Top Restroom Features:
Art Deco-themed
Leaded-glass tiles
Authentic terrazzo floors
Shoeshine station

21c Museum Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky is the first of its kind - a 91-room hotel dedicated to world-class luxuries, Southern-style hospitality and contemporary art from living artists. The hotel features a 9,000 square foot contemporary art museum funded and managed by the International Contemporary Art Foundation. This stunning collection of cutting-edge art inspired the naming of this property and influenced the creation of the museum and hotel. The men's restroom features a urinal that has a one-way mirror and above the basins, eyes stare back at you. (See penguin stand-ins to the right!)

Top Restroom Features:
One-way mirrors facing urinals
LCD screens with traveling images of eyes built into mirror above sink

Brio Restaurant is located in Rockford, Illinois’ River District and has become known as downtown's premiere restaurant and nightspot. Housed in vintage 1888 architecture, the atmosphere is uniquely its own. From its cozy wine bar with a stone fireplace, whimsical dining room and peaceful garden patio to its cleverly themed restrooms, this is an establishment that stands out. What's the theme, you ask? It's Heaven for the women's washroom and Hell for the men's.

Top Restroom Features:
Heaven and Hell themed
Custom mirrors, sinks, doors and floor, using a wide variety of materials

Located atop the John Hancock Center, in the heart of Chicago's Magnificent Mile, The Signature Room at the 95th offers Contemporary American fare with sweeping views of the city. The elegant wood designs and art-deco interior create an inviting and intimate atmosphere. Plus, those great views extend to the restroom as well.

Top Restroom Features:
Perched atop the 95th floor of John Hancock Center
Sweeping views
Custom woodwork
Silver accent pieces
Black & white photos from the 1930’s

The renovation and expansion of Smith College Museum of Art in Northampton, Massachusetts offered the opportunity to incorporate functional—and permanent—works of art as part of the building. Inspired by the artist-designed restrooms at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, the museum invited Ellen Driscoll and Sandy Skoglund (Smith College class of 1968) to design the women’s and men’s rooms, respectively, on the lower level. The fixtures were made during residencies in Arts/Industry program, which allowed the artists to work with the resources of the Kohler Co. factory.

Top Restroom Features:
Hand-painted tiles and etched glass panels depicting sea creatures and plant life

I’m very proud to say that in 2005, Fort Smith Regional Airport in Arkansas won first place for Best Restroom! They pride themselves on Southern hospitality for visitors. The restrooms are always clean, with sanitation being of utmost importance. Beautiful d├ęcor and comfortable seating, both inside and outside the stalls, compliment the restrooms’ cleanliness. Dried flower arrangements are always on display. And you’ll never have to manually flush a toilet or turn on a sink here---everything is automated!


  1. psssttt come closer.. no closer... I don't think I can pee in any of these bathrooms but if forced..only the smith college one.

    I don't like being able to see out over vast areas of space from in the sky... I'd be terrified. The others are very dark. Peekaboo even if only one way glass is just plain creepy to me... hehe

    Too funny this morning you are!

  2. I hope this post doesn't say I have my mind in the toilet...
    joy c. at grannymountain

  3. Great post. Hooray for the Fort Smith airport. I did a post once on the Pitfalls of Public Potties that you might enjoy.

  4. Wow I would like to have the view of the first potty in my house. Why do bathrooms get all the good stuff? ha ha

    Those are some amazing Loo's!! I would like to try a few of those out. Although i think the penguin one is a bit disturbing so I am glad I do not have to use a urinal. :D

  5. In an airport??? That is something to brag about.

  6. I just don't know why the rest of the world views us as a pampered nation. These are over the top - of something :-).

  7. Wow those are terrific bathrooms. I would probably sit too long in the first one and my legs would fall asleep:)

  8. Way to go Fort Smith!!!
    Some very pretty toilets!!! I love going into a pretty, clean smelling public restroom.

  9. I loved this post Joy!! I hate public restrooms but that airport one is very nice. I don't think I'd like sitting way up high, seeing that view, even if it is nice. The other ones are a bit weird..LOL
    Have a nice weekend!

  10. I think those toilets are facinating and some even with such a beautiful view!


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