It may not be greeted with the fanfare of the Fourth of July, but one of our favorite summer events took place this week:Cintas Corporation named the 10 public restrooms that are finalists in its 2018 America’s Best Restroom® contest. For the 17th year in a row, the contest showcases the best public restrooms in the U.S. and will award one lucky loo with $2,500 in Cintas products and services for restroom cleaning or facility management, along with a lifetime of bathroom bragging rights. Now through Sept. 18, you are invited to vote for your favorite finalist.
“From coast to coast, this year’s finalists highlight how restroom cleanliness, artistic design, and sustainable features can leave a positive, lasting impression on customers,” said Sean Mulcahey, Marketing Manager, Cintas. “With vibrant colors, picturesque views, and creative architecture, there’s a perfect restroom for everyone with this year’s finalists. The America’s Best Restroom contest invites the country to come together and vote for the worthiest facility.”
Here are the top 10 public restrooms that really made a splash in this year’s America’s Best Restroom contest:
Barrio, Chicago: After guests exit the women’s restrooms at Chicago’s trendy Mexican restaurant, Barrio, it’s common to hear the phrase: “Did you check out the bathroom? There’s a disco ball in there!” In addition to its shiny disco ball, the facility features colorful high heel patterned wallpaper and a hot pink ceiling. The upbeat ambiance screams anything but ordinary, making it the perfect place to freshen up, reapply lipstick, and hit the streets of the Windy City.
Bryant Park, New York City: After a $270,000 renovation, the new and improved Bryant Park restroom offers its one million visitors per year an oasis in the middle of the concrete jungle. Full-time attendants, fresh flowers, and classical music welcome the public with a luxurious comfort station experience. The facility uses Toto EcoPower technology to harness the energy of running water to power itself, and features water-efficient fixtures and LED lighting to reduce electrical costs and its environmental impact. With crown molding, cove lighting, glass mosaic details, and tiles from around the globe, this Manhattan marvel is a site to behold.
Dream Hollywood Hotel, Hollywood, CA: The Dream Hollywood Hotel’s rooftop has a restroom that takes guests to new heights. With floor-to-ceiling panoramic views of the Hollywood Hills and Griffith Observatory, these facilities allow visitors to gaze out at the city and take a postcard-worthy photo. Sleek subway tiles, long oval mirrors, and golden globe lights surround a large granite island with deep sinks and modern faucets.
Green Bay Botanical Garden, Green Bay, WI: Nicknamed the “Hobbit House,” Green Bay Botanical Garden is home to a fun, playful, and clean restroom facility straight out of a fantasy world. Located in its children’s garden area, the structure is built directly into the hill side to maintain a cool temperature and offer visitors a hill that showcases a perfect view of the gardens. Using natural materials whenever possible and installing local boulders as part of the design, the Les & Dar Stumpf Hobbit House Restroom is a sustainable building that reflects raw, creative innovation.
Hotel La Jolla, Curio Collection by Hilton, La Jolla, CA: Perched high on the 11th floor overlooking the stunning vistas of Southern California, the restroom at the Hotel La Jolla provides guests with a breathtaking view of La Jolla and the Pacific Ocean off the coast of San Diego. Facing the coast, the large windows capture the natural, constantly changing ocean light, complementing the earth tones of the restroom interior. In this restroom, it’s common for guests to spend extra time washing their hands just to gaze out at the beautiful views.
J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Sanibel, FL: Manatees, otters, alligators – oh my! The newest adventure at the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge comes to life with restrooms that immerse you in underwater scenery. Life-size animal sculptures grace the walls leading to and within the restrooms. The facility walls feature mesmerizing photographic tile murals of lush, watery mangrove scenes and its stalls showcase professional bird photography. These Learning Lavatories not only dazzle but educate visitors with interpretive messaging about local wildlife and saving the environment, turning a necessary “nature call” into a “nature enthrall.”
MI VIDA, Washington, DC: Inspired by the vibrant Mexican color palette, the restrooms at MI VIDA restaurant transport guests into a colorful, stylish and Instagram-worthy world. Hot pink doors pop against the hand-stenciled floors that pay tribute to Mexican folk art as aqua-grey penny tile ceilings shine from above. Sleek, brushed stainless steel plumbing fixtures bring an unexpected industrial touch, and a fully-integrated, paperless sink system with its cool cascading stream of blue light keeps the fiesta going even as guests freshen up.
Morgan Manufacturing, Chicago: The industrial elegance of the Morgan Manufacturing space located in the West Loop of Chicago extends to its massive restrooms. The generous, sleek spaces are outfitted with custom, glistening chandeliers made from repurposed pipes and crystals. With a modern concrete floor, tall stalls made from white marble partitions line half of the restroom walls while the other half is covered in mirrored subway tiles. With a large leather ottoman and plenty of artistic décor, this facility brings an element of sophistication to industrial design.
The Mud House, St. Louis, MO: Decorated with fun, local, and eclectic antique pieces, this cozy café brings its artistic flair right into its restroom. With Monopoly, Sorry!, Clue, Scrabble and other classic board games plastered on the walls, it’s nearly impossible to be bored in the Mud House’s restroom. Guests will find themselves surrounded by their favorite childhood board games and interesting vintage maps from floor to ceiling, creating a nostalgic and entertaining bathroom experience for all ages.
The Progress, San Francisco, CA: The restrooms at The Progress are a true departure from the soft wooden tones and natural feel of the dining room. Wanting guests to feel as though they weren’t just walking into a restroom, but entering a sparkly drum set, the owners and designers of the restaurant used 250 pounds of glitter to achieve their mission. A thick layer of glitter coats the walls, floor and ceiling, creating a 360-degree sparkly, colorful, and exceptional restroom experience that no guest could forget.
These 10 finalists were selected based on cleanliness, visual appeal, innovation, functionality, and unique design elements. Don’t forget to vote for your favorite!