The finalists have been chosen for this year's America's Best Restroom contest, sponsored by Cintas, which sells restroom supplies for businesses. You can go online and vote through Sept. 9. Take a look at the top 10 after the jump… What do you think of their 10 finalists? Do any of them strike you as remarkable, inviting or state-of-the-art? I am personally a little underwhelmed, though the uber-green bathroom in Brooklyn (#4) is pretty cool. The finalists are shown in images 1-10.
On a related note, several years ago the website Oddee published its hilarious list of the Top 10 Weirdest Toilets. Even better than their original list are the reader contributions that have accumulated over the years, including images 11 and 12.
1. Castello di Amorosa is a 13th century Tuscan style castle and winery in Napa Valley. In the bathrooms, the sinks are custom made from travertine imported from Tuscany, Italy. The restrooms are adorned with dragons and gargoyles and the Italian-style frescoes were hand painted by Italian-born artist, Fabio Sanzogni.
2. The Don's Johns DJ5000LX Presidential Luxury Restroom Trailer is a regal restroom trailer set up for President Obama during the 2009 Inauguration. The bathroom features granite counters and shelves, black marbleized walls, wood panel doors, and a hardwood floor. This fancy porta-potty has multi-zone, climate-controlled heat and AC as well as a dual audio system for users. Those waiting outside can keep themselves amused with a 37-inch exterior-mounted flat screen television.
3. With two large family-friendly restrooms on the ground floor, the Field Museum in Chicago is very family friendly. The women's restroom has a special nursing room with a shut door, sink, a small sofa for new mothers and a large Tot Area with smaller toilets for the littlest guests. The restrooms are also right across a Nanny Caddy filled with diapers, band-aids, wipes, etc.
4. Upon entering the bathrooms at Habana Outpost in Brooklyn the first thing people notice is the glass roof over-head with hanging plants and the galvanized walls. But what is really amazing is that the toilets flush with rainwater. Water is collected through a series of rain gutters and stored in a holding tank where it is filtered and then redirected to the toilets when you flush, saving thousands of gallons of water every week. The system was designed by architecture students as part of a design/build program called Urban Studio Brooklyn (USBK), which is part of the non-profit Habana Works.
5. The rooftop pool bathroom at The Joule Poule at the Joule Dallas Hotel features an outdoor shower that uses beautiful blue mosaic tiles to depict others showering. The cool color choices "are intended to reflect the clarity of blue water." The design is carried into the restroom, which features contemporary art, wood paneling, modern lighting and cloth hand towels.
6. Main Street Station in Las Vegas is set in "the splendor of the Victorian era" and home to a fabulous collection of antiques, artifacts and collectibles. Holding up the urinals is a genuine graffiti-covered segment of the Berlin Wall.
7. The NY-based theme restaurant Ninja New York is designed to look like a 15th-century Japanese village. The bathroom is outfitted with a control pad that operates seat warmers, a water spray (that oscillates or pulsates), a built-in deodorizer and blow driers for your nether regions.
8. The Renaissance Arlington Capital View is designed to "reflect the evidence of motion as the interior architecture, furnishings, finishes, forms and art celebrate movement in creative ways". The hallway leading to the restrooms is darkened with shadows of leaves projected on the floor. Once inside the restrooms, "one wall is ablaze in the oranges and golden tones of a sunset and the dark silhouettes of birds in flight." Mirrors above the vanity feature bird silhouettes that are lit and when a guest turns on the faucet, water flows in a sparkling red stream if it's hot and a blue stream if it's cool, thanks to ingenious lighting within the fixtures.
9. The Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts was renovated in 2005 by award-winning Scottsdale architect John Douglas. The upgraded restrooms are sleek and modern with terrazzo flooring, glass-tiled walls and a generous number of spacious, stainless-steel stalls. Both men's and women's restrooms are fully accessible and have changing stations. An lighting system continuously shifts the colors of the space from cool blues and greens to warm golds and reds, evoking the landscape and skies of the surrounding Sonoran Desert. Mindful of the Center's arid setting, the facility includes environmentally friendly, low-flow faucets and toilets to conserve water.
10. Snowbasin's restrooms feature Italian Carrera Marble, Barovier, Tosso & Moscatelli Chandeliers crafted from bronze and crystal, floor to ceiling commodes, beautifully inlaid African Anegre Wood and hand-painted walls.
11. In response to the Oddee 10 Weirdest Toilets list, one reader contributed this photograph of the Ski Jumping "Vertigo Toilet"
12. Another contribution to the Oddee list: the Two Da Loo double toilet so you and your loved one can do your business at the exact same time.
Images: 1-10 America's Best Restroom; 11-12: Top 10 Weirdest Toilets