May 09, 2021   1:25am

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Travel Trend: Turning the Hotel Bathroom Inside Out

Since someone told hoteliers that their guests care about bathroom design, there’s a whole new criteria to factor into your where-do-I-stay decision …

During my recent travel, I’ve experienced a whole range of new hotel bathroom designs.  This coupled with an article in The New York Times: “Heads Up-Bathrooms That Are Part of the View” (April 5, 2009), made me think this an interesting topic for Snoety readers to weigh in on.

Bathtubs are the new furniture in hotel rooms — getting more space and commanding better views than an easy chair or sofa – and, more often than not, replacing these more conventional seats! Here is what I’ve experienced – and sometimes chosen to avoid once I saw the hotel’s pictures online:

Bathroom opening directly onto the bedroom, separated by very large sliding doors. Toilet in separate compartment to the side, but shower/bath glass walled enclosure in line with opening in wall – so if sliding doors are open you can bathe with full view of bed area and windows beyond.

Large window opening (no glass) between bedroom and bathroom, providing same visibility as sliding door opening described above. In some cases, shutters are provided to separate spaces visually (certainly not acoustically), but in some hotels there is no way to close off the window opening. In one hotel, the window opening has the bathroom sinks on one side, and the headboard for the bed directly on the opposite side (beware of splashes from your partner while you nap!).

Glass wall separating bedroom and bathroom – sometimes with a shade that can be drawn, sometimes not, meaning there is no way to visually separate bedroom from bathroom. Again, toilet in separate compartment.

• Bathtub located within bedroom with rest of bathrooms components in separate room.

The above trends started in resorts (where presumably you have more time to loll around with your partner) but are moving to more and more urban hotels. The plus to you, the guest, is that you have your view, regardless of where you are in your room. On the hotel side, it also is a way for hotel designers to make smaller rooms feel larger as the bed area flows into the bath area.

My opinion is I like the option of acoustical and visual privacy between the bed and bath area when traveling, for practical reasons. I travel a lot with my spouse and we both count on a comfortable hotel room providing a good night’s sleep – even more important when we’ve traveled great distances and are on time zones that are radically different from home. One person’s sleep cycle is usually not the same as the others – and frankly I don’t want to awaken because of a light from a bathroom or water running in the sink for that glass of water.

However, many of you may feel differently – so give us your thoughts and tells us your experiences at! And, if you’re planning a trip check out your hotel’s room layouts before you go – either at the hotel’s web-site or try which usually has travelers’ own photos posted.

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