Our amazing guide Jasmin has been on an exciting journey of discovery in the past few months as a London Tailored Tours guide – that’s toilet discovery. Now she’s ready to share her insights with you from the ladies’ toilets, where no man has gone before…
London Toilet Tours
As a London Tailored Tours guide, I spend a lot of time in 4 and 5 star hotels, because we always begin a day of London sightseeing by meeting our guests at their central London hotel or apartment. Since our guides are always at least 15 minutes early, that can sometimes mean you’ve got quite a bit of time to kill in beautiful hotels.
Personally, I’ve always found myself enjoying the hotel’s unique art and decor, chatting to the doorman, etc. But one room in particular has always held fascination for me. The name for this room differs depending on where you’re from: the toilet, the bathroom, the restroom, the ladies or gents, the powder room, the john, the conveniences (according to our guide Beatrice’s granny), the lavatory, or the loo. Whatever you like to call it, London’s hotels have got some frankly beautiful ones.
Tour Guide Tip: No-one is absolutely sure where the word ‘loo’ comes from. Some say that it comes from a medieval phrase ‘Gardyloo’ which servants would shout when emptying chamber pots from windows. Others say it comes from the french phrase ‘le lieu’ meaning ‘the place’. Now that’s a polite euphemism!
London Tailored Toilets?
Well, for the past few months, I’ve been whiling away the time by reviewing these toilets for Instagram. Okay, so you must have questions. Mainly: what on earth are you talking about?
Let me start at the beginning. When I first started appreciating fancy hotel toilets, I realised that there are a few key features that almost every hotel includes. Cleanliness is absolutely at the top of my list, but I also think about the design of the room, the quality of the soap and hand lotion, and even the background music. So, I found myself mentally giving the bathroom experience ratings out of 5, just the same way the hotels are rated.
Well, I started posting them as Instagram stories, and I was surprised by how many people wanted to engage and debate with me over my reviews. Some people disagreed with my judgement – this is the internet, after all – for instance, that a toilet deserved a higher rating. But my ratings factor in the ambience as much as the air freshener!
One of my all time favourite toilets was at the Grosvenor House Hotel on Park Lane:
So, what makes a good fancy hotel toilet? Here are some of the factors I look for.
Top Toilets Must Have
High quality hand towels
Luxurious soap and hand lotion
Toilet paper roll with the end folded into a triangle
Large, well-lit, and flattering (!) mirror
And finally – that extra little something to catch the eye, and give a luxury feel
There have been some interesting adventures in my time as a toilet reviewer. The time a cleaner caught me taking a picture of the hand towel pyramid was a bit embarrassing, but I styled it out. And I’ve definitely had funny looks from hotel clientele, wondering what I could possibly be doing. After all, it’s not something that’s easy to explain!
Well, these are my criteria for judging a good fancy hotel toilet – what would make you give a 5-star review? Follow us, and let us know what you think on our Instagram posts and our Twitter feed, using the hashtag #londontailoredtoilets!
At London Tailored Tours, we strive to find you the best that London has to offer, and sometimes this includes the best bathrooms! To hear more from Jasmin, you can find her on the Best of London or Harry Potter tour, where she promises there will be no toilet humour…