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RANT: A Plea For Toilet Privacy

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April 30, 2013 at 5:02 PM | by | ()

We’ve got to get something off our chest: we have officially, completely, and utterly maxed out on peek-a-boo bathrooms. They have gone too far, and we’re beyond done.

Yes, we’ve talked previously about how a wall of (smoke) glass between shower and bedroom is sexy to some and annoying to others. We also appreciate that hotel designers, in the case of bog-standard hotel room lay-outs, need and are trying to find ways to be creative with the space. We get it.

But what truly has us raising the red flag is a few recent experiences where the lack of privacy has, inexplicably and unforgivably, been extended to the toilet. The picture on the left is one of the worst we’ve seen yet, taken at an all-villa resort this past weekend where rates can easily run upwards of $700 a night. The thatch you see behind the wall on the right? The entrance to the villa and also the public footpath!

Our plea therefore goes out to all existing and budding hotel designers and operators that approve their work: please, please include a proper toilet enclosure in your room designs. Proper enclosure means solid walls and a solid door, which all reach from floor to ceiling and are not (semi-)transparent. Additional soundproofing and sensible placement versus the rest of the accommodation are much appreciated as well.

Standing on the public footpath, steps away from the toilet behind the wall

We’ve had so many rooms and suites described to us by now as being ‘ideally suited for a couple seeking an urban/beach/etc hideaway’, yet feature (virtually) no toilet privacy. Similarly, we’ve shared a twin-bedded room with a friend that had a nearly full wall of glass (and no modesty curtain) between bed and bathroom, leaving us to use this solution or doing laps around the hotel in turns.

Most astonishing of all though, is the fact that almost every time we’ve commented on this / requested a different room / asked whether this was a source of guest feedback, we’ve been met with stunned looks like we’re the first person to ever bring it up.

So dear readers, help us out here: are we alone in hating this?

[Photos: JasonD for HotelChatter]

Archived Comments:

SE Asia

We JUST got back from a jaunt around Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam and out of the 6 hotels we stayed at, 5 of them had windows into the bathroom. Some have curtains, some had blocks of glass that distorted everything (not sure it was better or worse), but one thought floor to ceiling windows and a sliding door was acceptable for creating modesty. It was so bad that we made a noticed in each hotel. Not a cool trend.


I've been to so-called "romantic" resorts where the designers seem to believe couples share everything, including their bathroom experience/habits! Not so! I'm horrified by this trend.

Peek a boooooo

I've always thought this was an annoying trend, but most of the peek a boo bathrooms I've seen usually have some sort of privacy screen so you can choose whether to have an audience during your "moment." The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas has a full on clear-window into the shower as well as the tub. And I just heard of a friend who was in Vietnam at a luxe property walking outside of his room to find his bathroom only to stumble into another guest's room. I mean, something is not right if that happens!


I stayed at the W in Times Square several years back and the bathroom wall was a thin Shoji type material. No exhaust vent either. Nothing sexy or romantic about hearing your partner go #2 or vice versa. Stupid trend.