Friday 18 April 2008

Toilets at Club Quarters Philadelphia A Little Too Close for Comfort

Club Quarters Philadelphia
13th Floor
1628 Chestnut St
Philadelphia, PA USA

Where is it?

This restroom can only be visited by guests of the hotel, as the elevator will not take you to the 13th floor, where this restroom is located, unless you place your key card into the security slot on the elevator. (Those visiting the hotel and in need of a toilet should head to Davio's, the high-end restaurant attached to the hotel, as an alternative, since you do not need a key card to get into that bathroom.)

If you do have access to this bathroom, then you will need to take the hotel's very slow-moving elevator to the top floor (13th floor), which is where its conference room facilities are. Once on the floor, take an immediate left outside the elevator and journey down the small hallway just past the elevator shaft. The toilets are there.

What's it like?

I thought I experienced small toilets at Marathon Grill, which were very small but at least tried to cover up their smallness with interesting design flourishes. These facilities -- perhaps because they are not as available to the public and thus do not get used as regularly -- shy away from that mentality. These are indeed some of the tightest bathroom quarters I've ever stepped into.

Of course, what makes it feel so small is that unlike Marathon Grill, which is a one-bagger, these toilets try to accommodate more than one person at a time -- and as a result the space feels even smaller than it would if it were to accommodate only one person at a time.

The bathroom itself isn't more than 30 square feet in area, and in that tiny space it holds a sink, urinal, toilet stall, soap dispenser and paper towel dispenser. The walls are beige-painted drywall, the floors covered in beige tile. There are no decorations on the walls, and everything is kept pretty clean and in working order. Fixture wise, it's your standard white porcelain model, except for the sink which has this strange oblong shape to it -- making it look like a it was originally designed for an airplane bathroom but eventually rejected.

Opening the door to get in is a bit of a problem, because if you're standing at the sink at the time, both you and the person coming in have nowhere to go -- you can't get out, and he can't get in. A similar situation arises if you're washing your hands and someone's either at the urinal or in the stall -- they can't really move until you're done (and I imagine the person in the stall will have some issue with this, because he won't be able to leave the stall at all if someone's at the sink OR at the urinal).

Likewise, if you're at the sink or peeing and there's a person using the commode, you'll realize soon that there's very little privacy between the two of you. If I had to use the commode and someone was already at the urinal, I would wait until he left. If I couldn't wait, then I would have to start apologizing for the sounds I produced the minute I got inside. Yes, it's THAT cramped in here.

Marks out of 10:

5. Clean and well-kept, but just too small for two or more people to experience comfortably and without embarrassment.

Comments to the Management:

Turn this into a one-bagger. I don't see what else you can do about it.

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