I saw an article about a week ago in The New York Times about a new trend in fancy hotels – the open, see-through bathroom. Designers are praising it as the greatest thing since flushable commodes. The story reported:
” ‘Today’s luxury hotel bath is a space to live in,’ said Trisha Wilson, the founder and chief executive of Wilson Associates, a company that over the last two years has built 6 hotels with open bathrooms, with 10 additional hotels planned in Morocco, Vietnam, China and other locales. ‘We are seeing as much as 50 percent of the guest room being dedicated to the bathroom,’ Ms. Wilson said about her firm’s hotels.”
But the idea creeped me out, as it did this daughter who was traveling with her father.
“Last fall, Anika Chapin accompanied her father on a business trip to Toronto. The room that they shared at the stylish Hôtel Le Germain had two separate beds, but also a large glass window dividing the bathroom and bedroom that left the shower in full view. Automatic blinds on the outside of the glass could be raised or lowered from a button in the bedroom, but not from inside the stall.”
” ‘I guess it could be sort of mysterious and sexy in the right circumstances, but it’s definitely only awkward when you’re sharing the room with your dad,’ Ms. Chapin, a 26-year-old assistant Broadway director, said.”
After I read the article, I sort of dismissed it as “Well, we’ll never stay at a place nice enough to have to worry about this.” However, when we checked in last Friday night to the W in downtown Atlanta, I have to say the bathroom was pretty darn see through and if we had the kids with us, it would have made bath time difficult.
The shower was partially enclosed in clear glass but mostly just open. The toilet area was enclosed in smoked glass. You couldn’t see every detail, but you could totally see somebody sitting on the toilet or wiping their booty! (In 15 years of marriage I have NEVER seen my husband go to the bathroom. We have a closed-door bathroom policy. I do not need to see this.) Michael called it the “Fortress of Solitude” as in the Christopher Reeve “Superman” movie.
How much privacy on the toilet and in the shower does a FAMILY need? Would you be A-OK with the glass-enclosed shower? What about a glass-enclosed toilet? What about no glass at all? Is this a question you will ask when you book a hotel in the future – “Is your bathroom see-through?” Is that a question people should have to ask?