How far would you travel to go to the toilet? The International Toilet Tourism Award winners for 2018 have been announced – and yes, it's a real thing.
For most of us, visiting the bathroom is a fairly mundane experience – you do your business, wash your hands and leave. However, at some facilities, you can't help but stop and take notice.
The recently announced International Toilet Tourism Awards pay homage to innovative design around the world, with a James Bond-themed throne named as the overall winner.
Located 2970m high at the top of Mt Schilthorn in Switzerland, the Piz Gloria revolving restaurant and visitor centre has embraced all things Bond since the location was used as Blofeld's Lair in On Her Majesty's Secret Service.
Since its refurbishment in 2017, guests are treated to a full James Bond audio extravaganza when taking a bathroom break. In the men's room, Bond girl Diana Rigg appears in the mirror as you wash your hands, while helpful signage reminds visitors to "Shake, don't stir" and "Aim like James".
Meanwhile in the ladies, a shot rings out as an image of James Bond appears in the mirror beside a bullet hole, who then offers a special invitation: "Tonight, my place – just the two of us."
The prize for the "Quirkiest Experience" was won by Bowl Plaza in Kansas, USA – where the entire restroom building is shaped like a toilet tank, with outdoor benches in the shape of a toilet seat. Featuring detailed mosaics by local residents and artists, this is one art-"in-stall"-ation that's proved popular with visitors.
We all know that famous saying about what bears do in the woods – but at the Saskatchewan Science Centre in Regina, Canada, the woods have been brought to the toilets. Inspired by the boreal forests of northern Saskatchewan, these restrooms feature floor to ceiling visuals of the deep forest and audio of birdsong and woodland sounds. Decorated with images from award winning photographer Todd Mintz, we can see why this was the winner for Best Design.
What was previously a bland red brick toilet block in a sleepy Aussie town was named the Best Economic Contributor. The Cummins Mosaic Loo in Cummins, South Australia, features statues, mosaics and paintings themed around the early 20th century. While the town previously received few visitors, local businesses now benefit from tourists who've turned it into an essential toilet stop.
When it comes to views, the bathrooms at Hotel La Jolla in La Jolla, California received the award for Best Location. Sitting on the 11th floor, with stunning views over the coastal urban village, we can see why you'd want to linger a little longer while washing your hands.
But it's not all about eccentric feature, innovative design and great locations – the Best Accessible Toilet was also named in the awards. At Brisbane Airport, the upgraded accessible toilets were designed to exceed accessibility legislation, with specialised equipment such as an adult change table, hoist and a toilet with removable hand rails for people with severe disabilities.
The spacious design has made travel more accessible for people with disabilities and their carers. The airport also offers a special indoor loo for guide dogs.