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Six best toilets in the world: from the top design to the one you should use in the wilderness

The winners of the second edition of the International Toilet Tourism Award were announced yesterday, with award winners covering all your basic needs and a lot more

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 14 June, 2018, 2:46pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 14 June, 2018, 5:09pm

Forget about museums, temples or dramatic landscapes. If there’s any experience that determines how well a trip goes, it’s that of going to a toilet while being far away from home.

From the filthiest, most poorly illuminated loos to luxurious, sharp-looking restrooms, a whole range of bathrooms awaits globe-trotting souls that can make or break a holiday.

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To encourage travellers to explore lavatories around the world, the winners of the second edition of the International Toilet Tourism Award were announced yesterday.

The prizes, organised by, recognise the quirkiest, most innovative or the best-designed tourist water closets.

Here are some of the main prizes given out.

Overall winner

The top prize went to the loos of the rather appropriately named Piz Gloria, sitting on top of Switzerland’s Mt. Schilthorn, where you can relieve yourself at 2,970 metres above sea level.

Piz Gloria is still remembered as the background of one of the main action scenes of the 1969 Bond classic On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, and even its toilets have been designed to celebrate the movie. Spy-themed silhouettes decorate the walls and cubicles, audio effects play over speakers, and a Bond girl appears in the mirror when men wash their hands.

Just in case one of the most dramatic natural views in Europe wasn’t reason enough to visit Piz Gloria, now the site can brag about award-winning toilets, too.

Quirkiest experience

Another aptly named experience, Bowl Plaza in Lucas, Kansas in the US, took home the Quirkiest Experience award, thanks to the extravagant decoration of the venue.

Toilet-goers might briefly forget about their basic needs while admiring the shards of porcelain, face masks and toy vehicles that cover the walls of the place.

“The whole space is a quirky altar to creativity run riot. Kids and adults love it,” said the judges.

Best design

Reminding all of us of the traditional role that the depths of the forest have played for centuries as humanity’s very first toilet site, the award to Best Design was handed to the forest-themed toilet of the Saskatchewan Science Centre in Canada.

Visitors might reconnect with their ancestors by using this bathroom, which includes audio of birdsong and nature sounds, and wall covers with immersive images of the Canadian wilderness.

“The toilets inside the science centre are like stepping into another world where you can do your business amid the sights and sounds of nature – without to worry about bears,” the jurors wisely pointed out.

Best economic contributor

In an inspiring tale of a toilet bringing surprising benefits for the local community, the Best Economic Contributor award was given to the Cummins Mosaic Loo in Cummins, in Australia.

What once was a boring red-brick toilet from the old local station was transformed into a space with personality thanks to murals, mosaics and sculptures that the residents slowly added to the place.

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“The public toilets in the town have become a tourist attraction in their own right, which shows smart thinking by the local community,” the judges said. “They have therefore done a great job creating a ‘must-see’ attraction that generates income for local businesses.”

Best accessible toilet

The Best Accessible Toilet prize went to the restrooms in the Brisbane Airport thanks to its “specialised equipment” and its “spacious, flexible design”.

“Their whole approach has empowered travellers with disabilities and made it much easier for them and their carers to meet their needs with dignity and comfort,” the judges said.

The restrooms includes an adult change table, a hoist and even a customised indoor loo for guide dogs.

Best location

The 11th floor restrooms of the Californian Hotel La Jolla in the US won the Best Location Toilet award, thanks to the “breathtaking view” of the Pacific Ocean and the seaside town of La Jolla.

“The view from the loo connects visitors to the beautiful destination that surrounds them. Guests experience a wonderful vista bathed in constantly changing ocean light,” said the judges.

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It’s an authentic Golden State experience that you can experience – from your toilet.