Bathroom Blogfest 2010 – Stuck in the 60s?

BathBlogfest 2010 buttonOnce again this year, I am pleased to be participating in the Bathroom Blogfest. This is the 5th year of the Blogfest (4th year participating for me – now with 34 other bloggers in 2010), and we use this opportunity to focus on the customer experience in one of the “forgotten” spaces, bathrooms! This year’s theme is inspired by Mad Men, and we will look to see whether some of these areas area still “stuck in the 60s”. Unless your business is 60s-inspired, it probably won’t work for you!

Now, here on Customers Rock!, I like to focus on the positives. So, I will show you one bathroom experience that is definitely “stuck”. However, I will then share photos of bathroom experiences that do a beautiful job of carrying the customer experience from the establishment into the washroom.

This Bathroom is Really Stuck!

I always advocate looking at the entire customer experience and working to ensure positive feelings as a result of those interactions. Recently, I was in Las Vegas for the BlogWorld conference, and I went to eat at Burger Bar in Mandalay Bay with some friends. The bar had a lot of great beers on tap, as well as a wide selection of bottled beers; it was a point of pride with them. So when I went to use the restroom, I wasn’t surprised to see the hallway lined with metal beer signs.

burger bar 1

This is a pretty neat experience; I felt immersed in the atmosphere as I proceeded (the door to the bathroom is at the end of the hall).  burger bar 2

Imagine my surprise when I opened the door to this ugly scene:

burger bar 3

Apparently, the restaurant shared the bathrooms with other stores/restaurants in that area (it was similar to a shopping mall), so their cool Beer experience ended at the door. It was such a stark contrast that at first it made me wonder whether I was in the right place!  The Burger Bar is “stuck” with this experience. Much like a parking lot, this bathroom situation was out of the control of the establishment.

What could be done to make this experience better? I don’t think there is much that could be changed, other than to create a sign at the end of the hall, before the door out of Burger Bar, noting that you are now leaving the restaurant and entering shared space. I am not sure that would completely remedy the situation, but sometimes simply setting expectations is all that is needed to turn a crummy experience into a tolerable one.

And Now For Some Great Bathrooms!

Las Vegas is definitely the city of glitz and glam, and the casinos and resorts make sure that feeling is carried through to every corner of their facilities.

Mandalay Bay

This washroom in the casino area of Mandalay Bay conveys the lush feeling that permeates the whole facility. The opulent furnishings mirror the carpets and upholstered walls leading into the bathroom. Luxurious.

Mandalay Bay bathroom

The Mirage

We went to The Mirage to see the fabulous Cirque du Soleil show Love (which was an absolutely wonderful experience itself, and one I highly recommend!) The bathroom was beautifully decorated with drawings of flower arrangements, which can be seen on the walls as one enters the restroom. (I definitely got some strange looks as I took this photo!)

Mirage bathroom overallWhat interested me was that the floral art actually continued right into the stalls themselves. There was a floral drawing mounted above each toilet (yes, I peeked into more than one stall to confirm it); see pics below for proof.

Mirage bathroom stall

While the pictures were indeed lovely, it would have been more practical to make the marble shelf a little larger so that a purse or small package could be placed there while using the facilities.

mirage stall 2

New York, New York

New York, New York hotel and casino is designed to look like something out of New York, and there were a lot of Broadway-style touches to the decor. We finished up our evening by sending the younger members of our party onto a voyage aboard the wild and long roller coaster at this hotel. While waiting, I stopped into the ladies room to check out the scene. The entrance to the bathroom had photos of famous stars from earlier decades (Marilyn Monroe, for example) lining the walls. The most striking feature of the restroom, however, was the fireplace! I don’t believe it was operational, but it looked very extravagant, especially with the chandelier above it.

nyny bathroom

What About Your Bathroom?

We have looked at the good, bad/ugly in this post with respect to how the customer experience carries over to the washroom. Whether your business is a retail establishment or a commercially-focused company, your bathroom still speaks volumes about your company. Is your bathroom “stuck in the 60s”, or are is it fully present in the year 2010, reflecting the best image possible about your organization? Let me know what you think about the bathroom experience!

Thanks to the Participating Bloggers!

Here is the list of all the participating Bathroom Blogfest 2010 bloggers! Thank you to CB Whittemore of Simple Marketing Now for her hard work pulling this blog festival together. I am honored to be a part of this effort


18 Responses

  1. Becky, what great photos! I love that you focus more on the bathrooms that rocked than those than didn’t although the contrast is valuable and particularly relevant with shared facilities. I like your remedy.

    Thanks for being such a terrific participant in the annual Bathroom Blogfest! You rock!


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  3. Becky Carroll

    SO glad you liked the photos, CB, and thank you for putting this blogfest together again this year. It is always a blast! I take pictures all year in preparation for it.

  4. laurie shook

    Becky, love the concepts behind your blog. I have a nomination for bathroom with the best view–Maremagnum Mall in Barcelona, with an awesome view of the Mediterranean harbor. No photo because it seemed weird to take pictures in a public restroom. Did you get any strange looks?

    1. Becky Carroll

      Would love to see those photos, Laurie! Yes, I did get some strange looks when I couldn’t avoid others in the restroom. Usually, I try to take these photos when the bathrooms are empty, but that was hard to do in Las Vegas restrooms!

  5. Lovely bathrooms (apart of the first one of course). I think that bathroom really makes a different. I was very unlucky lately to visit bathroom in one of the UK leading coffee-chains. The experience was really awful and I will never visit this cafe again. Ugly, dirty bathroom is definitely the way to loose customers.

  6. […] Becky Carroll from Customers Rock! showcases beautiful bathroom examples she has uncovered in Las Vegas. Her contrasting example makes the point of Bathroom Blogfest 2010 – Stuck in the 60s? […]