The worst-kept non-secret in the city is that there is no better public restroom to duck into when you're out and about than the one in basically any hotel lobby. In a recent Reddit thread about the city's "Secret Bathroom Spots," one Redditor writes, "I always tell guests in town to use the hotel lobby bathrooms when they are out in the city. They are always clean, sometimes they are really fancy, and you can always pretend your [sic] from Lichtenstein and don't speak English." Sage advice, but rather than pleading your case with a possibly unsympathetic desk attendant, wouldn't it be better to just walk in like you own the place? You can do that too, using our guide to getting into eight of New York City's fanciest/coolest/most easy accessible hotel lobby bathrooms.Read More
Forget Starbucks: The City's Best Hotel Lobby Bathrooms
Waldorf Astoria New York
The best "public" bathrooms in the city are rumored to exist in the lobby of this Art Deco landmark. What makes them so special? Not only is there a lounge area with chairs and couches, but each stall contains a sink and mirror.
Although the lobby might be filled with tech types, there's a chance that the bathrooms off the Ace Hotel might not be so crowded. A 34-year-old video editor who works out of the lobby told the Wall Street Journal that leaving his laptop unattended and potentially losing his spot are two reasons he is reticent to use the facilities, which located are your first right and down some steps after you enter the lobby.
Renaissance New York Times Square Hotel
You've got to ride the elevator up the lobby, but once you get there, according to Overnight New York, what you'll find is "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." As in the Waldorf Astoria, the stalls come with individual vanities, and the wheelchair accessible stall is apparently "palatial."
Standard East Village
The Standard East Village has a cafe and garden that are open to the public. To get to the lobby bathroom, take a left after you walk in and go down the stairs. However, one Redditor warns, "Careful; it's mirrored all over the walls. I spent like 5 minutes drunkenly trying to avoid a reflection of myself. Not a good place to maintain your dignity."
The NoMad Hotel
If the Ace Hotel lobby is too packed, there's always the NoMad Hotel one block south. A yelp reviewer describes the lobby bathroom there as "beautifully tiled in yellow, grey and white." It's located down a flight of stairs.
The bathrooms are toward the rear of the lobby on the ground floor the Royalton. NY Mag says that the doors are "notoriously tricky to figure out," but that just means more privacy once you've become one of the few to master them. The fresh flowers are a bonus.
This from a Yelp reviewer: "I opted to use the lobby bathroom before we went out to the patio and when i went inside there was a sink area and a white wall. I was like "ummm?" but then I noticed the handles on two parts of the wall which had small outlines for two doors. Once opened the necessary equipment to powder my nose was there. haha - cool concept"
New York Hilton Midtown
The New York Hilton Midtown has two things going for it. First, it's the city's largest hotel, so with the number of people coming and and out it's almost impossible that you'll get stopped for not being a guest. And second, via the Reddit thread: "The Hilton Hotel on 53rd and 6th has a flush like a jet engine!"