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The public bathrooms at 25hrs Hotel Bikini Berlin
The 25hours Hotel Bikini Berlin hit the headlines last week, not for its funky rooms or its already heaving-with-locals bar, but for its public bathrooms, which are rather more public than intended (at least, we hope so – you know Germans and their toilet obsession). The hotel has floor-to-ceiling windows in the public area bathrooms, and it’s only 10 stories high, meaning that you’re as on display as the animals in the zoo next door while you get down to business. This is the very definition of 'horrendous'.
This is clearly (hopefully?) the nadir of the ghastly peekaboo bathroom trend, but it got us thinking – are they ever ok?
It’s what we wondered during a recent stay at The Hotel (yes, The Hotel) in Brussels. It’s the former Hilton and is a huge tower block perched on a hill overlooking the city center. The views are spectacular, and the renovations of the hotel (The Hotel?) have made the most of this, putting walls of windows center stage, and letting that light and those views flood each and every room.
Yes, the whole of each and every room. Including the bathroom.
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!
The peekaboo shower in the rooms at The Standard, NYC
Writing this, we sit less than 20 feet from a Peekaboo hotel bathroom, but we've finally come to peace with the lack of privacy it requires. Actually, we've only just figured out a way to deal with it, when traveling with friends or family...or really anyone you wouldn't like watching you shower.
The resolution is quite simple, and we put it to the test with a friend to prove it works. The routine:
Dah, dah, dah, dah da...Nothing to see here.
We're starting to think that the only people who like those trendy, voyeuristic peekaboo bathrooms must be the hotel designers themselves. That's because we are constantly getting complaints about how these too-revealing bathrooms are a pain in the um...ass.
Now, most of these cheeky bathrooms do provide some way of obtaining privacy when doing your business. The one we liked the best was the automated shade that drops down at the touch of a button at James New York. But it did take a bit of time to drop down. What if we were in a hurry? Then our spouse/partner/boyfriend/girlfriend/work colleague (eek!) would have seen everything if the shade didn't drop in time.
Which is why hotels with peekaboo bathrooms should probably install something like LC SmartGlass.
UPDATE: There's still no specific opening date other than "June" but room rates will start at $250 a night
The Trump Ocean Club International Hotel and Tower in Panama is not set to open until June but we've finally got a sneak peek at the rooms that we will all be staying in when it opens. (Or at least we hope to stay in.) And y'all better be ready for some bathtime.
The Trump Panama rooms feature a very peekaboo bathroom with a freestanding deep-soaking oval bathtub. As you can see from the picture, the tub is in plain view. No need to turn on the TV for entertainment, just watch your lover splish and splash. Fortunately, if you do want some privacy there are curtains that can be closed around the tub.
It's bad enough that the TSA can see your junk with their new full-body scans at airports across the U.S. but it turns out you may not get that much privacy relief when you make it to your final destination, thanks to peekaboo bathrooms in hotels.
And it's not just the show-off boutique or arty hotels in New York City that are forcing you to shower and pee in front of the whole room. Even hotels in China now have peekaboo baths!
We recently experienced a remembrance of things past while flipping through our photos of a recent trip to Montreal (did you catch the Proust joke in there?), and wanted to tell you about the hotel we stayed in during our visit, the new Hotel Chez Swann. Named after the main character in Marcel Proust’s magnum opus, In Search of Lost Time, this 23-room property is part boutique hotel, part art gallery.
While we were staying at the Casa Cartagena in Cusco last month, we popped over to the nearby Plazoleta Nazarenas to scope out Fallen Angel, a restaurant-lounge-guest house frequented by the city’s glitterati.
There, we fell under the spell of fancy finger foods and odd furnishings like a 10-foot sparkly angel sculpture, tables that are made from bathtubs converted into fish tanks with glass tabletops on them, and bathrooms that are categorized by “Angel” and “Devil” rather than by sex so that patrons can self-segregate depending on their mood that evening.
But the restaurant bathrooms have nothing on one of the restrooms we spotted upstairs in one of the four new, equally quirky guest rooms.
The extremely controversial Peekaboo bathrooms have been all the rage in hotels for quite some time now. These bathrooms often have glass doors instead of solid ones or barely opaque shower glass instead of shower curtains. And there's always a few that have a window over the bathtub...looking out into the guestroom (and looking back!) Heck, some peekaboo bathrooms don't have any doors in general.
It seems as if hoteliers and hotel designers don't mind if one guest has to see their travel partner going to the bathroom or showering. Maybe they've done that to foster closeness between guests or maybe they assume two guests sharing a room are already close. But of course, there are exceptions to that--sharing a room with a work colleague on a business trip because the hotel is sold-out or four dudes crammed into one room on a bachelor party trip. And then there's always sharing a room with one of your parents.
Like we always do with hotel trends, we've put together a gallery! Here are bathrooms with the best peekaboo layouts--or worse, if you're that person stuck in a room with your work colleague.
Got any other peekaboo bathrooms we should know about? Send the hotel and photo to HotelChatter!
Peekaboo Bathrooms / Key West Hotels / Waldorf-Astoria Collection / Hotel Renovations / Resort Fees / → All Tags
Chalk up another point for Team Enclosed Bathrooms. We know how many of you feel about the hotel trend that is not going away, Peekaboo Bathrooms, and most of you are against it.
Here's another gripe about the lack of privacy in the bathrooms at the newly renovated Reach Hotel which is actually now part of the Waldorf-Astoria Collection. Our reader also has a problem with the nude photographs in the restaurant. In short, this may not be the best hotel for families visiting Key West.
You know how fond we are of hotels where we can sit, soak and stare so when we saw this pic of the Sephiri bath tub, a free-standing rim-flow tub designed by Philippe Starck, at The Molori Safari Lodge we just had to share it with you.
Now, we understand you may have concerns about this bathtub being so out in the open. It does kind of make this peekaboo bathroom look pretty tame! But the Molori Safari Lodge is incredibly private as there are only five suites, each with their own infinity pool and terrace.
The lodge is also located inside the malaria-free Madikwe Game Reserve and guests can enjoy nature walks or safari drives right on the property. Guests can even indulge in fine dining and relaxing spa treatments on site.
But you might be just as well of in your suite which comes with wireless internet, espresso machines, fully-stocked mini-bars, a telescope and of course, that bathtub. So go ahead, let the animals check you out!
Rates start at around $1,900 a night.
You guessed right, it's The Hudson Hotel!
Peekaboo Bathrooms. Some people love them, some people hate them but everyone is curious about them. "You mean you can see me? In there? During my private time? And you actually want to watch?"
Whether you're an exhibitionist like Britney Spears or a buttoned-up church lady, peekaboo bathrooms have you enthralled. And boy do we have a peekaboo bathroom that tops them all. In our latest edition of Guess the Hotel, we present you with a bathroom where you can be observed by your companion as you bathe. And since there's a desk here, your companion can take copious notes.
But don't worry, he/she can't reach out and touch you--there's a wall of glass separating the scientist from the lab subject...er one guest from another. And if you're really freaked out, you can close the curtains--there's one lining the bathtub and one on the other side of the glass.
Keep reading for hints on what hotel has such an voyeuristic bathroom!