Boston’s Coolest Restaurant and Bar Bathrooms

Filed in Featured, Food & Dining, Headline by on June 24, 2009 1 Comment
Bathroom at Sensing, Fairmont Battery Wharf

Bathroom at Sensing/Fairmont Battery Wharf Hotel

Some people pay attention to the architectural details in a restaurant’s dining room or perhaps the wine selection. I’m always curious to see the bathroom. Yes, you read that right. I am a connoisseur of restaurant bathrooms (but for the record, I would never do anything illegal in them).

Lots of restaurants and bars have a cool, contemporary décor in the main dining area, but far fewer devote that level of attention to the bathroom. And I admire those who do. Here are some of the coolest bathrooms I’ve seen in Boston.

28 Degrees: When this sleek South End lounge first opened in 2006, it featured a unisex washroom designed by architect Martin Smargiassi and interior designer Mark Bombara. The modern, spa-inspired washroom was so memorable with its teak accents and rippling water flowing through the ceiling that it was inspired an entire photo gallery on But as the Globe would later report, city inspectors didn’t find it nearly as cool as bar patrons did, and they forced 28 Degree’s owners to separate the male and female wash areas. Despite this, I think 28 Degrees still has the coolest bathrooms in all of Boston. You’ll have to check it out to get the full effect, but it is unlike any other bathrooms I’ve seen.

MANTRA: Located in a former bank, this French-Indian fusion restaurant and bar boasts a marble bar and opulent fixtures throughout. MANTRA’s distinctive and stylish aesthetic also carries into the bathrooms, which feature two-way mirrors inside each of the stalls. It’s pretty trippy to be sitting on the toilet watching some woman touch up her lipstick by the sink, but rest assured, that patrons in the sink area can’t see inside the stalls.

Sensing: Technically, Sensing is part of the Fairmont Battery Wharf Hotel, so the credit for this uber-modern bathroom really belongs to the hotel. Either way, it’s a very cool bathroom. From the intricately tiled floor to the simple, stylish lighting fixtures, this bathroom makes an immediate impact as soon as you open the door. White, neatly piled hand tiles create a striking contrast against the shiny black countertops.

I’ve also heard that the Mandarin Oriental Hotel and Jury’s Hotel have pretty cool bathrooms, but I haven’t had the chance to see them myself. Perhaps I’ll have to pay a visit to their restaurants, so I can check them out.

Tell us! Have you spotted any cool bathrooms in Boston? What should we add to this list?

Photo courtesy of Susan Johnston

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About the Author ()

A contributing writer/blogger for, Susan Johnston lives and writes near Fenway Park. She loves exploring the city and has also contributed to The Boston Globe,, and many other places.

Comments (1)

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  1. Susan,
    I’m the architect, Martin Smargiassi of the Boston based design and architecture firm, Innovative Collaborations. A friend of mine just sent me this link. Nice article. Thank you for the kind words regarding our design work at 28 degrees. We agree that spaces, including bathrooms, can be more than utilitarian. We seek to design spaces that stimulate all the senses, create a profound sense of place, and leave a lasting impression on the person. At 28 degrees we accomplished that. This not only makes it a fun place to go and enjoy yourself but also brings more business to the restaurant.
    Mantra’s mens room is interesting too. I haven’t seen sensing, but will do.
    If you think 28 degrees was great wait till you see some of the new projects we’re working on now!
    Best Regards

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