The elegance. The opulence. The finest porcelain… toilets?
Vegas nightclubs continuously up the ante when it comes to designing the prettiest places to potty. From Valley views, to flat screen TVs and Playboy Playmates, visiting the loo at a Las Vegas club is anything but routine.
In honor of fantastic facilities, I trolled the tiled wash closets and searched out the coolest, raciest and most extravagant restrooms the city has to offer. Here are Las Vegas nightlife’s top 5 best bathrooms.
Here is the room that inspired this list. While the men’s room at Vanity is nothing to scoff at, with flat screens over the urinals, faux reptile-skin walls and a Pamela Hanson black-and-white image of a lingerie model with a vacuum, it’s the women’s room that wows.
Indeed, at about 2,000 square feet, this is more of a lounge than a loo. “We had an idea to do a bathroom that wasn’t just a bathroom,” says Cory McCormack, managing partner of the Nightlife Group at the Hard Rock. Adds Charles Doell of Mr. Important Designs, “I wanted to do something that is very much about glamour and also a space that women could use.”
Instead of a mirror running behind a row of sinks, this ladies’ room has six vanity stations, each with its own plush red settee. “We wanted them to have their own personal makeup and primping area at each sink,” says Doell. Ladies can rest on two larger settees under Sputnik-design cluster chandeliers, or inspect their full outfit in one of two three-way mirrors. And Vanity didn’t forget the dreaded lines: More than a dozen stalls accommodate the crowd behind a white tufting-patterned hallway.
It’s “a little bit of a retreat, someplace completely different from the rest of the club,” Doell says. “You can get away from men, which I think sometimes is a desirable thing to do.” Adds McCormack, “Girls go in there and they don’t come out!”
FLIRT LOUNGE at the Chippendales Theater Complex, Rio
Pink and purple are about as girly as it gets. Fortunately, the Flirt Lounge is mostly for the ladies anyway. A circular room with a freestanding mosaic-tiled vanity station greets the lady looking to cool off after ogling the dancers. Additional makeup stations and plum-colored couch inlets framed by heavy purple drapery surround what is affectionately dubbed “the gossip pit,” under a jellyfish-like chandelier.
“It’s just a place—a refuge—for the women,” says Jon Sparer of YWS Architects, who worked on the project alongside Cleo Design. “They’re getting all their eye candy of all the cute guys out there, and they can come into the women’s restroom, do their makeup and be able to sit and gossip, compare notes and egg each other on. It’s kind of a fun thing.” Video of nearly naked Chippendales playing on three televisions in the room doesn’t hurt, either.
PLAYBOY CLUB/MOON NIGHTCLUB, The Palms Casino & Resort
At the Playboy Club, the iconic bunny logo is omnipresent in the restrooms, from door handles to the black-lacquered mirrors. “We actually had the entire design approved by Hef,” says Karen Herold from 555 Design, who worked on both the Playboy Club and Moon.
Fifty years of Playmates form a collage on the walls of both the men’s and women’s restrooms. “They just gave us free access to their archives,” says Herold. A glass-bead overlay textures the printed vinyl wall covering.
But it wasn’t easy to display fully uncovered Playmates. “Typically in a casino, you cannot show any nudity; it’s a gaming law, so we had to push hard for the fact that this is in the bathroom and there’s a physical door between it,” Herold says. “We tried to get all the Playboy aesthetics in there without being too overt. That’s why we put the glass bead over the images, so from an angle you don’t really catch everything.” Playmates photographed specifically for the restrooms adorn the stall doors. “From the outside you see them from the front, and when you’re in the stall, you see the exact same pose from the back.”
Upstairs at Moon, the restrooms toy with another kind of exposure. Though the futuristic elements of the nightclub continue into the restrooms, with stainless steel and silver accents, it’s the floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the city that make the 53rd floor worth seeing … or being seen.
“I don’t think it was about the view as much as the idea,” says Herold. “It wasn’t really about looking out as much as people potentially looking in.”
MIX LOUNGE, THE Hotel at Mandalay Bay
If a view while you take care of business is on top on your list of priorities, Mix Lounge will impress. A single separate room with a black commode in the ladies room faces the floor-to-ceiling windows, and one of the additional stalls also has a view. For the men, their row of urinals faces a window overlooking the city as well.
Hidden behind a semi-transparent waterfall wall, the Déjà Vu Erotic Ultra Lounge (formally Seamless) restrooms titillate almost as much as the dancers. This unisex restroom keeps the party going as LED lights change color inside stalls with glass doors that fog up when locked. Though there is a small men-only area (complete with TVs over the urinals), it’s not uncommon to see a stripper washing her hands as Mike Tyson asks the restroom attendant for a cigarette.
(Originally published in Las Vegas Weekly and at LasVegasWeekly.com.)