By Terry Trucco
Like a glass of ice water on a sweltering day – or a hot fudge sundae any day – a hotel restroom can be a welcome sight. And if said restroom is super-clean, easy to find and flaunts some style, so much the better. We found five hotel restrooms in Times Square that fit the bill as well as two honorable mentions. Keep these in mind when you’re in the area; you’ll thank us.
The Muse Hotel, 130 West 46th Street between Sixth Avenue and Broadway.
When the lobby at the Muse was refurbished in 2009, the restrooms became a showpiece. They’re smart: a door opens onto a large room holding six self-contained, surprisingly roomy unisex restrooms, each equipped with a toilet, sink and mirror. They’re easy to find on the ground floor behind the check-in counter. They’re clever: each flaunts a name and theme riffing the Seven Deadly Sins. Black tile and antlers adorn Macho. A sculpted glass flame lights up Passion. And Vain is a mini hall of mirrors. (You get the idea.) My favorite: Glam, dressed in floor-to-ceiling gold tile.
The Royalton, 44 West 44th Street between Fifth and Sixth avenues.
The lobby’s moody/glam look spills into the Royalton restrooms. They’re not large – just three stalls in the women’s. But fresh flowers, a steely midnight palette and an inspired use of tiny, matte-finish tiles, including a cascade of light and dark tile in the stalls, make up for the paucity of toilets (if there isn’t a line). We like the square white sinks and wood-framed mirrors. And though the restrooms are near the rear of the lobby, they’re on the ground floor and easy to reach.
Sofitel New York, 45 West 44th Street, between Fifth and Sixth avenues.
First the bad news. They’re in the middle of the building and in the basement (you need to take an elevator). And instead of self-contained rooms, you see feet beneath these classic stalls. But grace notes like framed artwork and the marble-topped table in the entry to the women’s make the Sofitel’s restrooms appealing. In addition to a spacious sink area with rolled cotton towels and L’Occitane hand lotion, there’s a dressing area with a long marble-topped table, mirrors and side chairs, ideal for touching up make-up or an Eve Harrington-style chat.
Intercontinental New York Times Square, 300 West 44th Street at Eighth Avenue.
As befits a hotel that’s new (it opened in 2010) and big (36 stories), the Intercontinental New York Times Square bathrooms are modern, spacious and spotless, awash in marble and mirrors with dark stone floors. Kudos for the sleek single faucet perched above each square white basin. Kudos as well for the white cotton towels, fresh flowers, Gilcrest & Soames hand lotion and large mirrors framed by tiny glass tiles. On the down side: stalls instead of individual rooms (at least they’re plentiful so you won’t wait long). Restrooms are in the basement, but they’re easy to reach by escalator or elevator.
Renaissance New York Times Square Hotel, 714 Seventh Avenue at West 48th Street.
From the outside, the Renaissance restrooms look dramatic – a wall of blue floor-to-ceiling mirrored doors opening onto five individual rooms for women and a sixth door leading to a large men’s room. And there’s the rub: with a sink, mirror and toilet in each stall, the women’s rooms offer privacy and spaciousness (the wheelchair room is palatial); the men’s room offers all the essentials but without those all-inclusive stalls. Tiny glass tiles in gold, wheat and blue blanket the walls. A quibble: the raised metal sinks look dated. But the restrooms are easy to find once you ride the elevator upstairs to the lobby.
Honorable mentions: With shiny surfaces galore, the restrooms at the Chatwal, 130 West 44th Street, pile on Art Deco glamour. But they’re all but impossible to reach unless you’re dining at the restaurant or having a drink upstairs at the bar.
The coolest restrooms at the Paramount, 235 West 46th Street, sport multi-color four-inch tiles, floor to ceiling doors and, upstairs at least, gorgeous Romanesque windows. The downstairs restrooms are extremely easy to find but aren’t as spectacular.