In all but the standard rooms at The Hotel, the bathrooms are open, and part of the bedroom – the basins overlook the bed, facing the windows, and the shower and toilet are behind that, sharing one frosted glass door (ie when you’re on the throne, the shower will be open, and vice versa).
The shower also has a peekaboo sliver of glass a few inches wide that overlooks the bedroom, so unless you’re cowering in the corner, any roommate will get flashes of you soaping up. Actual peekaboo, rather than full frontal exposure, but still, it slightly unnerved us. Here's the view from the shower:
Surely, we said to the hotel, something vaguely suggestive like this has no place in a business hotel in the totally square capital of Europe? Surely
repressed English people complain? Surely Barack Obama – who’s stayed a couple of times – is far too important to give his Secret Service men a morning flash?
Au contraire, said the hotel. Because The Hotel is mainly a business hotel, most guests travel alone, so they love looking out at the Palais de Justice or the Atomium or the Place du Sablon as they lather up of a morning. (Also, the suites have enclosed bathrooms, so Obama presumably hasn’t encountered this issue.) You know what? Once we’d processed that information, we were fine with the bathroom. (Although it did mean that, after a late night out with friends facing a long walk home, we offered them our couch in a manner that redefined reluctant, and probably would have paid for a second room had they been autistic enough to accept said offer.)
Have we stumbled upon the one time a peekaboo bathroom is ok? And if we can agree that it only works in a business hotel, does this mean we can stop pretending that waking up to a faceful of your roommate doing their ablutions is sexy?
In summary, in case any hotel needs clarification, here is the handy HotelChatter guide to peekaboo bathrooms. A sliver of shower overlooking an awesome view in a single room: ok. A glass walled toilet overlooking a busy street: not ok.
Architects, please design accordingly.
[25hours photo: Metro/Photoshot. The Hotel photo: Julia Buckley for HotelChatter]