airport restrooms

Award-winning airport restrooms? Yup.

JAX - women's restroom

Jacksonville Int’l Airport

 

Public restrooms can be a crapshoot when it comes to cleanliness and overall appeal.

But some establishments do loos right, with spotless sinks and stalls, unique design features and a dash of surprise and creative flair.

And when they do “it shows a commitment to quality across the board,” said Danny Rubin, survey editor for Cintas’ annual America’s Best Restroom contest. “If an owner is going to put so much attention into the restroom, it shows you how much they care about the entire building.”

Have a seat and consider some recent contest winners.

The 17 lavatories at Longwood Gardens, near Philadelphia (the 2014 winner), are part of the largest living “Green Wall” in North America. The restrooms at the Varsity Theater in Minneapolis, the contest’s 2013 winner, have bar service and a view out to the venue’s concert stage. And the 2012 winner, a Buc-ees convenience store in New Braunfels, Texas offers patrons a choice of 83 spotless thrones.

There have been some airports amongst the nominees and the winners as well.

In 2005, Fort Smith Regional Airport in Arkansas was a winner.

Award winning bathroom room Fort Smith Regional Airport

Winning bathroom at Fort Smith Regional Airport

And Tampa International Airport’s restrooms were among the top nominees in 2013.

Tampa Airport

Cintas is now rounding up the list of go-worthy restrooms for the 2015 contest and they expect nominations to trickle in through June.

“It’s remarkable that we’ve had a fresh list of 10 great restrooms on the ballot for each of the past 13 years,” said Rubin, “but we keep finding out about great restrooms in hotels, museums, parks, airports, stores, malls, theaters and other places around the country that we haven’t heard of before.”

What makes a public restroom a contender?

A restroom being nominated should be extremely clean, of course, but it should also be able to pass the “eye test,” said Rubin. “Do people go in, look around and say ‘Wow, that’s spectacular,’ do they talk about it, does it generate buzz?”

Being nominated is an honor all its own, of course, but the public restroom that comes in first place in the contest gets $2500 worth of restroom services; the three venues that get the most votes get their restrooms deep-cleaned.

You’ll find details on how to submit a nomination for Cintas’ America’s Best Restroom contest here.

(A slightly different version of my story about Best Restrooms first appeared on Today.com)

Vancouver International Airport’s lovely loo

YVR 1

Every year the folks at Cintas – a major restroom supply company – hold a contest to choose the best public washrooms in the United States and Canada.

The list of nominees includes not just spots where cleanliness in crappers is king, but where creativity abounds.

For example, last year’s U.S. winner, the Varsity Theater in Minneapolis, MN, has a restroom decorated “with ornate, gilded mirrors, sassy text plates, and bricks laid as if by a drunken mason on bender,” and “invites guests into an Alice In Wonderland-like grotto – to relieve themselves and re-live childhood fairy tales.”

Varsity

The list of potties to pick from is out for this year’s contest, and while no airport made the top ten list in the U.S., Tampa International Airport is still overflowing with pride from making the list last year.

tampa

This year, the finalists in Canada include a loo at Vancouver International Airport.

YVR BATHROOM 2

Here’s how the nomination reads:

“Located in the C-Pier, Domestic Terminal of YVR, travelers find a clean, modern place to freshen up during their journeys. The washroom walls are covered in shades of blue, red, and yellow mosaic tiles and wave-shaped blue flooring winds down the curved corridor leading guests to their choice of bathroom stalls. White tile surrounds the hands-free sinks and towel dispensers, creating a cohesive and modern atmosphere that is sure to leave a lasting impression.”

YVR3

Take a look at the list of nominees for “Best Restroom” in both the United States and Canada and be sure to pick your favorite. Because when you gotta go, you gotta – well, you know – and it may as well be a posh pottie.

Tampa Int’l Airport proud of its potties

TPA Ladies Room-

Congratulations to Tampa International Airport (TPA) for having its recently renovated restrooms chosen as finalists in the Cintas 12th annual America’s Best Restroom Contest.

The contest lauds public loos across the land and, in addition to TPA’s toilets, the list includes a restroom in a Portland, Ore. arcade, an ice-cream parlor in West Palm Beach, Fla. and the glass bathrooms on the square in Sulphur Springs, Texas.

They’re all great places to, uh, go, but here at StuckatTheAirport.com we must root for the restrooms at the Tampa airport, which were renovated as part of a $30 million main terminal modernization project.

Tampa Intl Airport Mens Room

Airport officials say the restrooms were designed to offer a “fresh, Florida feel” with, among other amenities, those cool Dyson airblade hand dryers and wall-sized image of flowers, birds, fish and other native Florida wildlife.