Flushed With (near) Success

August 21, 2009|By Frederick N. Rasmussen | Frederick N. Rasmussen,fred.rasmussen@baltsun.com

It's not quite a royal flush, but perhaps the nearest thing.

An Edwardian-era women's bathroom in the Tremont Grand in the 200 block of N. Charles St. garnered honors as the nation's second-best facility in a nationwide America's Best Restroom contest.

Sponsored by Cintas Corp. of Cincinnati, a uniform and bathroom supply company, the eighth annual contest allowed "tens of thousands" of participants to vote online through July 31 from a field of 10 entries, according to a Cintas news release issued Thursday.

The Shoji Tabuchi Theatre in Branson, Mo., with its "marble fireplaces, hand-carved mahogany pool table, antiques, lion's head sinks, leather chairs, stained glass and chandeliers," according to the news release, won top honors as the place to stop for ablutions or a brief respite.

However, the Tremont Grand edged out New York City's Radio City Music Hall, and all of its art deco glory, for second place.

The extensive use of imported marble, grand columns, chandeliers and hand-carved woodwork in the ladies' room apparently triumphed over the chic 1930s elegance, furnishings and cork-covered walls of the home of the Rockettes, which came in third.

"We wanted to be No. 1, but it's just as exciting being No. 2, because we do have a grand bathroom," Jenny L. Fordham, marketing manager for the Tremont Grand, said Thursday. "The buzz is also very exciting and good for Baltimore as well."

Fourth-place honors went to Zeffirino Ristorante in Las Vegas, whose restrooms measure a staggering 1,800 square feet.

The venerable Drake Hotel in Chicago, with its 1920s-era bathrooms and palm tree murals, in-stall makeup tables and elegant period sconces and chandeliers, came in fifth.

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