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When Nature Calls: A Guide to Boston’s Best Hotel Bathrooms

Posted by Alex Pearlman  September 28, 2011 08:36 AM

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fairmont copley.JPGAbout a month ago, CLOO opened a lot of doors for its users -- bathroom doors, that is. The smartphone app maps the nearest home restrooms available for public use in exchange for a small fee.

I have a problem with this for two reasons: 1) Do you really want to meet the kind of people who are willing to let a stranger use their private bathroom?, and 2) Why pay when we live in a city full of wonderful, free public restrooms?

I’m not suggesting you risk your health in shoulda-worn-a-HazMat-suit T station bathroom. There are plenty of clean and comfortable -- and, in the case of those on this list, posh -- public restroom options that don’t require a “I’m just going to run to the bathroom while I wait for the rest of my table to arrive” lie to get in the door.

Keeping in mind that “no lying” requirement and that I only have access to 50 percent of the city’s restrooms (though I’m sure the women’s rooms are just as nice), the following are five of the city’s most luxurious hotel restrooms.

Hotel Commonwealth (500 Commonwealth Ave., Kenmore Square). Directions from the Front Door: Go up the stairs, and take a left before you enter the lobby. Walk as far as you can go. Comments: The best things about this place are the spacing between the urinals and the fact that everything is automatic. Cell phone coverage is weirdly poor.

Mandarin Oriental Hotel (776 Boylston St., Back Bay). Directions from the Front Door: Enter the lobby, and take a left, as if you are heading towards the restaurant. Take a right down the hallway across from the display cabinet. Comments: Each individual stall gets its own room, so it’s like being at home. The only negative is that they turn down the lights around 10 p.m., making it difficult -- but not impossible -- to use.

mandarin bath.jpgThe Ritz-Carlton Boston Common (10 Avery St.). Directions from the Front Door: Take a left after the concierge desk. Continue until you see the sign for the restrooms. Comments: “I love it here. It’s the kind of bathroom where even if you don’t have to go, you go,” said an anonymous 25 year old. “It makes you want to have to go.” Hotel staff is very friendly. This is likely the best bathroom in town.

The Millennium Hotel (26 North St., Government Center). Directions from the Front Door: Enter the lobby, and take a right. There is a doorway on the right side of the lobby that leads to the restroom area. It’s poorly marked but not too difficult to find. Comments: This bathroom is the cream of a very lackluster crop in Government Center. There is nothing outstanding about the facilities, but compared to places with poor plumbing and those overrun by tourists, The Millennium is the place to go.

Fairmont Battery Wharf (3 Battery Wharf). Directions from the Front Door: As soon as you enter, take a right and make a U-turn down the stairs. At the bottom of the stairs, the ladies’ room will be to your immediate right. To get to the men’s room, continue down the corridor, almost to the end. It will be on your right. Comments: The North End is rich with culture and delicious pastries, but it’s also full of “Restroom for Customers Only” signs. This place may seem like a mirage in the distance to anyone in need, but you won’t be disappointed.

What restroom would you recommend? Share your favorite “emergency relief” spot in the comments!

Photos courtesy Fairmont Battery Wharf (top) and Mandarin Oriental Hotel (bottom -- photo of guest room bath, not public restroom)

By Kenny Soto -- I'm a professional blogger and entertainer. In my spare time, I enjoy Boston sports and exploring all of the adventures that my hometown has to offer. You can connect with me on Twitter @TheRealKennySo.

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