Tell Us About the World's Most Curious Bathrooms!

We here at Atlas Obscura often talk about how there’s wonder everywhere. And we mean everywhere. Even in the bathroom. Have you ever had the experience of visiting a place and discovering that its restroom is actually an incredibly designed curiosity in and of itself? Maybe it had a really cool entrance hidden behind a false bookcase, maybe it’s a bathroom that’s become a historic landmark, or maybe the layout and design of the entire space were simply unforgettable. No matter what the case, we want to hear about the most incredible, wondrous, and curious restrooms that you’ve ever encountered.

(Image: Juan Marin/Public Domain)

In the comments below, tell us about the most incredible and unforgettable bathrooms that you’ve ever encountered, where it was, and WITHOUT ANY GRAPHIC DETAILS PLEASE, what made it so wondrous. Your submission may be included in an upcoming round-up article on Atlas Obscura. The bathroom can be a magical place,

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The views from the bathrooms at Castillo San Felipe del Morro in San Juan, PR absolutely blew me away. I’ve been in some cute bathrooms, but nothing comparably memorable (at least not in a good way)!

OC below:

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There are the famous Monopoly ones at Marylebone Station, London and the Long Road which I snapped at Montparnasse in Paris IMG_20190820_073913

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In the University of Arizona Art Museum Men’s room. Everyone looks at art differently…:slight_smile:

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I can get a dodgy tummy, so while heading through the southlands and drinking southern water, I felt a need to use the restroom not long after crossing into Mississippi from Louisiana.

We pulled into the welcome center, a stately Georgian manor and I saw a sign for bathrooms both left and right. I thought nothing of it and if averages serve, went to the one on the right, only to find the stalls occupied. I decided to try the left only to find the same situation.

I retired to the pamphlets and brochures of the stately manor while I waited until a stall opened up. I looked around, up, down, and everywhere before it dawned on me. These were segregated bathrooms repurposed for the modern age. I have no idea which one I used.

Another time I drove north out of Texas and saw a scenic rest stop in Oklahoma. Having never been to Oklahoma before, I decided it was worth checking out. It was not. It was a dumpster and a field. Knowing some scenic overlooks around me to be too covered by tree growth to see anything of note, on the next summer’s trip, through Arizona, Nevada and Utah, I routinely ignored all scenic overlooks thinking they were the same hogwash I was used to. After seeing the Grand Canyon I probably should have rethought that stance, but I didn’t. It wasn’t until I got halfway across Utah and needed to use the restroom that I decided to check out the Spotted Wolf Overlook.

My god, it was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen. You can’t really tell by the photograph, but it looked like the universe was folding over itself or getting sucked through a coffee stirrer. Because of that bathroom stop, I never skipped another scenic overlook for the rest of the trip.

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Ah, I’ve been meaning to add the bathroom at Smith & Mills, a small bar in Tribeca, to Atlas Obscura forever. It’s located in an old freight elevator, and has an antique wash basin with a flippable bowl. (Feels like it somehow belongs in the Eiffel tower.) Here’s a pic:

And a link to more:

https://www.google.com/search?q=smith+and+mills+bathroom&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj0-6vZz5HkAhUIr1kKHX7zAVgQ_AUIEygD&biw=1301&bih=720

Including this one:

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When I saw AO post the fanciest public bathroom in NYC I had to check it out. I was not disappointed. Finding a decent half clean bathroom in New York can be daunting, but a public bathroom, forget about it!, but it’s true, this is an immaculate and yes fancy bathroom; fresh flowers, bathroom attendant and classical music, the works! A hidden gem in NYC.

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Yes, this bathroom is a New York miracle! I love it.

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Back with more. This one is a little hard to explain, but the 21C Museum Hotel in Lousiville, Kentucky had (has?) a one-way mirror behind the men’s urinal that looks out at a public hallway. So picture where the red penguins are in this photo and note, it’s a glass urinal with a gutter at the bottom:

More on that here at the aptly named website Best Restroom: America's Best Restroom - Hall of Fame - 2008 - 21C Museum Hotel | Presented by Cintas

Also, in the Atlas, there’s the mens’ urinal backed by a piece of the Berlin Wall in Las Vegas:

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The Brookfield Zoo bathrooms in Brookfield, Illinois, complete with gorgeous terrazzo floor and playful goats!

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I’m a big fan of urinals that try to psychologically encourage users to, y’know, actually use the urinal (not the floor) by giving them a target to aim at. Urinals that have stickers in of things like flies or targets or whatever - something that men think “Hey, I’m gonna aim my stream at that!” - are, thus, always a welcome sight… :grinning:

I bring this up because the National Football Museum in Manchester, UK, used to have the best targets. Moulded onto the green plastic matting that covered the plughole in the bowl of the urinal there was a miniature set of goalposts. Dangling in the middle of the goalposts was a little ball so patrons relieving themselves would experience the additional joy of watching their discharge knock a little ball around the goal.

It was suitably in keeping with the setting, a fun touch for adults and children alike and it ensured the bathrooms were cleaner. Alas, they have now been replaced with something more conventional.

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Saw this one in Edinburgh a while back, kind of reminds you that you don’t buy beer you just rent it for a while.

The brewpub is called Cold Town and carries a sort of steam punk style out in an old church right below the famous castle.

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Fascinating :rofl::rofl:

If I remember correctly, these are respectively called The Yellow Bathroom…

Nicho de la Esponja by David Cabrera, en Flickr


Virgen del Baño by David Cabrera, en Flickr

Espejos Amarillos by David Cabrera, en Flickr

And The Blue Bathroom, after the main color of their many, many tiles.

Sapos del Lavabo by David Cabrera, en Flickr

Tina by David Cabrera, en Flickr

Both are in the Robert Brady’s House Museum in Cuernavaca, Mexico. This was, funnily enough, the house of a man called Robert Brady who traveled all over and collected all sorts of stuff. Like every other room of the museum, both of these bathrooms are heavily-decorated with all sort of “ethnic” figures and details, from mermaids to frogs.

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what is nudging?

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The Bathrooms at Jungle Jim’s International Market


Entrance

Hallway

Bathroom proper

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‘Nudging’ is exactly what it is, @sontaran! :slightly_smiling_face: I didn’t want to use the technical term, though, because the words ‘nudging’ and ‘urinals’ too close together brings up uncomfortable images and this is a wholesome, family-friendly forum… :neutral_face::no_mouth:

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The doors to the bathrooms in a restaurant in San Diego are designated with dogs…one a leg raised…one squatting.

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The top floor of The Shilla Hotel in Seoul has a bathroom with a view. And what a view. We somehow got a killer deal to stay at the Shilla, which included access to the hospitality area on the top floor - really, the whole top floor, with free drinks, free food, the works. We took advantage of this every night of our stay. (To compare, dinner at the hotel’s Japanese restaurant can cost hundreds of US dollars per plate.) I was very impressed by the hotel, the rooms, the location, and of course the hospitality floor. But nothing beat the view from the men’s room!

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