You're not alone if you never knew there was an America's Best Restroom contest, but some must of known about it because these winners were voted for by an online public. It may be that you also never heard of the 2009 winner, the Shoji Tabuchi Theatre restroom, or the location of the winner, Branson, Missouri. But now that the theatre has won the America's Best Restroom (ABR) Award, a lot more folks will know about it and may visit it just to use the restroom!
That's what past winners of the ABR report; a big swell of new customers, mostly sightseers that want to use their prestigious restrooms. So, I guess it's time to get to know a Japanese musician with a penchant for American country music...
America's Best Restroom 2009: Shoji Tabuchi Theatre, Branson, Missouri
Yeeow! If you love ornate, you got it in these turn-of-the-century (19th to 20th) century restrooms. The "gentleman's lounge" is studded with black leather chairs and black lion-head sinks made in Italy.
In an anti-room of the men's lounge, gents can warm up by the marble fireside or play a game or two of billiards on the hand-carved mahogany table.
Moving right along to Shoji Tabuchi's ladies' powder room, the granite and onyx pedestal sinks, stained glass murals, and elaborate chandeliers are sure to make any lady feel wild - like the wild wild west!
America's Second Best Restroom 2009: The Tremont Plaza Hotel, Baltimore, Maryland
Gorgeous original imported marble from 1866, when the hotel was first built, lavishes the rest rooms off the public lobby of the Tremont Plaza. From the grand columns to the sinks and floors, the marble is brilliant, as is the hand-carved woodwork and the original 19th century chandelier.
America's Third Best Restroom 2009: Radio City Music Hall, New York City, New York
Somewhat more modern than the best and second best restrooms, the Art Deco Lounges at Radio City Music Hall are classic 1930's architecture. Even the lobby thoroughly captures the feel of the period. What a superb example of Art Deco lighting!
Now look at the elegance and simplicity of the black and white restroom interior. And the walls are cork-covered!
America's Fourth Best Restroom 2009: Zeffirino Ristorante at the Venetian Resort, Hotel & Casino
Overlooking the Grand Canal at the Venetian, the yummy authentic cuisine is matched by the authentic decor of the restaurant and, of course, the restroom. Here, the limestone water fountain at the entrance to the restrooms...
... all private, with Carra marble floors, Murano glass chandeliers and washbasins, and custom mosaic tiling.
America's Fifth Best Restroom 2009: The Drake Hotel - Palm Court
And palms it is in this grand hotel on Chicago's "Gold Coast." Each bathroom suite is adorned with murals of palms, sconces, and chandeliers from many periods.
And right outside are silk tapestry Victorian stools for you to relax upon, while touching up your hair and makeup at the ample sized mirrors.
America's Best Restroom Awards are sponsored by Cintas, an international company that provides clean supplies and uniforms, as well as clean technologies to a variety of businesses such as hotels, restaurants, and hospitals. This is the eighth consecutive year of Cintas-sponsored Best Restroom Awards, where Cintas allows the public to pick the top five restrooms from its selection of 10 finalists.
Previous winners have included restrooms at Notre Dame University; The Grand Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi; Kohler Art Center in Sheboygan, Wisconsin; the Fort Smith, Arkansas Airport; Wendell’s Restaurant in Westerville, Ohio; Jungle Jim’s International Market in Fairfield, Ohio and, in 2008, The Hermitage Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee.
If you like, you can nominate a public restroom for the 2010 Best Restroom Award here.