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World's top toilets

Flip Byrnes
Monday, May 7, 2012
World's top toilets
Would you poo in that loo? That's often a difficult question when you're on the road, but these toots will have you touting their triumphs. Here we present you with the contenders for our first annual Golden Global Plunger Award and the best of the bogs.

The Beer Bathroom, Taichung, Taiwan
The bar-in-a-bathroom concept is a hot contender for the Best Bathroom in the World Award — ten points for convenience!

Located in the Chung Yo department store, Taichung City, Taiwan, you can truly kill two birds with one stone in this dunny. The 16 floor department store has 14 themed restrooms to visit, but the stand out is the bar-in-a-bathroom pit stop.

Green tiled walls and red urinals are the dé du jour, but this potty's real drawcard — refrigerators stocked with frosty green Heineken bottles.

It's a bar, in a bathroom, in a department store. Drink, wee, shop — our answer to Eat, Pray, Love.

Sansiettes, Paris, France
In Paris everything is just so classy. Even the public toilets are well-groomed; in a self-cleaning sansiettes you won't find a hair out of place ... we hope!

Self-cleaning toilets found their start in Paris in the 1970s and come in several styles, but have the same basic design. Press a button (or add a coin) to enter, and when you leave the toilet is automagically cleaned and disinfected by a motorized mechanism, and a green light signals that the lavatory is ready for the next customer.

Be forewarned: the dunny door will open automatically after 15 minutes, so don't plan on pausing to read the collected works of Proust.

Kawakawa, Bay of Islands, New Zealand
When you travel you'll often find yourself far afield from a chain hotel with expanses of marble, the obvious choice for a spontaneous bathroom stop. But after the self-cleaning loos of gay Paris, the award for public toots has to go to our very own Kawakawa in the Bay of Islands.

These are gorgeous, as far as public bathrooms are concerned; they feature smashed tiles and curved glass reminiscent of Gaudi. Bottles embedded in the wall allow natural light to enter, and the building is topped off by a grass roof. George Michael, with all of his experience, would surely give Kawakawa a big thumbs uppa.

Victorian toilets, Rothesay, Isle of Bute, Scotland
Here you can truly mix business with pleasure. These Victorian fixtures are located on the pier in at Rothesay on the Isle of Bute, just off the west coast of Scotland, and have won more Loo Awards than they can hang on the mantle.

A tribute to all things Victorian, the beautifully preserved, circular centerpiece porcelain urinals are made from white Fireclay, and topped with imitation green St Anne's marble. The original glass-sided cisterns, shiny copper pipes, and polished wooden loo seats make these a historical dumping ground.

Eco-Loos, Singapore Zoological Gardens, Singapore
Singapore is already known for being neat, and when a particular bathroom wins Singapore's Cleanest Bathroom title multiple times, you know you could go there and eat off the floor.

Not that you would.

But for those who love nature without having to go 'jungle', this bathroom is for you. Located semi-outdoors, the bathrooms feature exotic flowers and foliage and effluent turns to compost.

By spending a penny, you're helping the planet.

Ninja New York, USA
Japan is famous for their heated toilet seat culture, which warms your butt and heart simultaneously. However, if you find yourself outside Tokyo with a cold tushy, head to Ninja's restaurant in NYC.

Themed as a 15th century Japanese village, the real drawcard of this eatery is the bathroom, which comes outfitted with a control pad operating seat warmers, a water spray (that oscillates or pulsates), a built-in deodorizer and blow driers. A blow-dried bottom is serious ninja business.

Dolce & Gabbana, Milan, Italy
Everything this dynamic designing duo touches turns to gold — including their loos. Gold Restaurant, Via Poerio, in Milan is a two-storey homage to all things gold, from floor to ceiling.The highlight? You guessed it — gold plated potties. In case you are tempted to stay, James Bond's Goldfinger plays on a loop on the in-stall plasma TVs ... you'll hopefully be stirred, but not shaken.

Refuge du Arosa, Switzerland
Some of the best bathrooms aren't the most architecturally incredible or historically imbued, but rely on simplicity. Should you find yourself climbing the Arosa Glacier in Switzerland, pop a squat at the Refuge halfway up.

It's what is called in the adventure world a "long drop". The loo has a door, a toilet seat, and below it a drop of thousands of metres. Make your mark with a white-knuckled grip on the handicapped railings.

Peeping Toms, New York, USA
Leave it to the lewd crew from the Big Apple to bring the bathroom into the dining room. The toilets at Peep are constructed of two-way mirrors — once in the stall, a light switches on which obscures your body (and pants-around-the-ankle) from the rest of the world while you have the joint's best view of the rest of the restaurant ... from the john.

This is definitely not a bathroom for those who suffer from performance anxiety.

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