Home Airports 2 US Airport Restrooms Nominated For America’s Best Restroom Award

2 US Airport Restrooms Nominated For America’s Best Restroom Award

by SharonKurheg

There are all kinds of awards given out in the travel industry. Some are prestigious, like when companies win a Freddie Award, or are considered to be the most trusted travel brands. Others not so much, like the when Trip Advisor used to list the dirtiest hotels in the U.S. (True story! Here are the lists from every year). Or Frommer’s list of the 10 worst airports. Still others are just heartwarming, like when this Tennessee hotel was named the “Nicest Place In America.”

So really, in this day and age, is it any surprise that there’s an annual award for the country’s best restroom? (Not any more of a surprise that I discovered this and am writing about it. LOLOL!) Well, there is and guess what? Not just one, but TWO U.S. airports have restrooms that are nominated this year.

Founded in 1968, Cintas Corporation is headquartered in Cincinnati, OH. If the name sounds familiar, it should – they provide products and services to businesses, including first aid and safety products, fire extinguishers, testing and safety courses, uniforms, mats, mops, cleaning and, HELLO, restroom supplies.

Cintas has been awarding the America’s Best Restroom Awards since 2002 (I heard you gasp in surprise. I know, right? WHO KNEW?). As they describe it:

While most people would likely characterize their trip to the restroom as a fairly unremarkable experience, we at Cintas think it should be unforgettable! Have you seen a unique, impressive restroom? Maybe it’s elegant, eclectic or downright quirky. As long as it’s immaculate, inviting and, most of all, memorable, it’s fair game!

The reality is that restrooms matter to the public. How a business maintains its facilities is a reflection of a business’ commitment to customer service.

Now, a growing number of companies are going the extra mile to create the most memorable restrooms imaginable, and we are recognizing those establishments with Cintas’ America’s Best Restroom® award. Cintas is on a mission to locate America’s porcelain pioneers who are taking dramatic steps to create unforgettable facilities.

Anyway, each year they have a certain number of restrooms that have been nominated. The more “different,” the better. After nominations are in, ten finalists are chosen and voting begins. You can cast multiple votes for the finalists, and voting ends, at least for this year, on August 31st. Here are all the rules.

Nominees run the gamut of types of places they are. This year’s ten nominees vary from a botanical garden in Delaware to a recreation center in California to restaurants in Florida, Georgia, Missouri, Oregon, South Carolina and Texas. But as I said, TWO of this year’s nominations are AIRPORT restrooms!

Newark Liberty International Airport Terminal B All-Gender Restroom

This project provides a new restroom facility in a 1970’s-era terminal departure lounge area at Newark Liberty International Airport that was required due to inadequate capacity at the existing restrooms. The restroom design provides an exceptional experience for all passengers by eliminating the traditional amalgamation of restroom facilities through gender-based separation in favor of public environments that allow privacy for all users. An added benefit of this all-gender solution was the ability to accommodate a larger number of users than a traditional restroom configuration, with “potty parity” for all. Areas for traveling companion waiting and passenger reorganization are provided to compliment the private areas. Local imagery, integrated into the architectural treatment of glass and tile, establishes a sense of place to remind the users where they might have visited or what they might want to experience during a return trip. Sound and scent compliment the visual experience to create a calming environment.

Tampa International Airport

Tampa International Airport’s Airside C showcases new high-design, spacious restrooms, coupled with quality craftsmanship and an inviting, yet durable, material palette. The entrance welcomes travelers to their uniquely-Florida experience. Boasting large graphics and a natural, deep blue stone, the undulating veining is reminiscent of waves crashing along the shore. Once inside, large format tiles skin the floors and seamlessly fold up the walls, bolstering the well-lit environment and furthering a “freshly cleaned” aesthetic. A wood-look wall tile adds warmth and softness for a balanced, resort-like feel. The luxury feel is bolstered by high-res images of quintessential Florida flora, back printed on floor-to-ceiling sheets of impact-resistant glass ensuring its beauty for years to come. The clean, contemporary aesthetic is completed by light-colored solid surface vanities, which incorporate TPA’s signature “cockpit” concept. This “cockpit” provides guests with their own sensor-activating sink and soap, personal paper towel dispensers, and trash receptacle, all within an arm’s reach!

There are multiple photos of each restroom on Cinta’s nomination webpage. Just click on the corresponding photo and it will offer a pop-up of the rest of the photos.

But an airport restroom could never win, right?

Um, wrong. Cintas maintains a Hall of Fame of every restroom that’s ever won this very prestigious award, and in 2016, none other than Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport got the most votes! Oh, and in 2005, Fort Smith Regional Airport, in Arkansas, won!

Other past winners include:

  • 2021
    Two Cities Pizza, Cincinnati, OH (one of the runners up was JFK Airport’s Terminal 4)
  • 2020
    Bancroft Park, Colorado Springs, CO (that was a huge year for travel-related restrooms! The runners up included The Guild Hotel in San Diego, the Kimpton Muse Hotel in NYC, DFW Airport and AirTrain JFK’s Jamaica Station)
  • 2019
    Nashville Zoo, Nashville, TN (once again, 2 other airports were runners up: Sea-Tac and LaGuardia Airport Terminal B)
  • 2018
    J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Sanibel, FL (No airports that year, but Hotel La Jolla Curio Collection in La Jolla, and Dream Hollywood Hotel in Hollywood were both reunners up)
  • 2017
    OdySea Aquarium, Scottsdale, AZ (the Renaissance Chicago Downtown Hotel, in Chicago was also nominated that year)
  • 2016
    Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (WHOOP WHOOP! Good thing it won, too – no other travel-related restrooms were nominated that year)
  • 2015
    Town of Minturn Public Restrooms, Minturn, CO (no travel-related restrooms that year)
  • 2014
    Longwood Gardens Philadelphia, PA (I went there a couple of times, when I lived up north. Beautiful gardens!) (No hotels or airports that year, but the restrooms at The Mai Kai were nominated that year. I love that place! Here’s our review from one of our visits. The Mai Kai has been closed for a couple of years due to a roof collapse but they’re fixing it and it’s scheduled to reopen in 2023)
  • 2013
    Varsity Theater Minneapolis, MN (the Waldorf=Astoria New York and Tampa International Airport were runners up that year)
  • 2012
    Buc-ee’s, New Braunfels, TX (BE STILL MY HEART! Y’all know how much I love Buc-ee’s!) (Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel in Chicago was also nominated that year)
  • 2011
    The Field Museum, Chicago, IL (Renaissance Arlington Capital View Hotel, in Crystal City VA, was one of the runners up that year)
  • 2010
    The Fountain on Locust St., St. Louis, MO (NYC’s The Muse Hotel and the Salt lake City’s Grand America Hotel were also nominated that year)
  • 2009
    The Shoji Tabuchi Theatre, Branson, MO (Baltimore’s Tremont Plaza Hotel was one of the runners up in 2009)
  • 2008
    The Hermitage Hotel, Nashville, TN (21C Museum Hotel, in Louisville KY, was also nominated that year)
  • 2007
    Jungle Jim’s International Market, Fairfield, OH (that place is a destination unto itself. One of these days I’ll get there!) (no travel-related restrooms that year)
  • 2006
    Wendell’s Restaurant, Westerville, OH (Another airport was nominated that year! Quad City International Airport, in Moline, IL)
  • 2005
    Fort Smith Regional Airport, Fort Smith, AR (another nominee that year was The Madonna Inn, in San Luis Obispo. Another place that I’ll get to, one of these years)
  • 2004
    Kohler Art Center, Sheboygen, WI (no travel-related restrooms that year, but a shout out to the Waffle House in Lawrence, MI, which was a runner up!)
  • 2003
    The Grand Casino, Biloxi, MS (a victim of Hurricane Katrina, Grand Casino no longer exists) (The Madonna Inn was a runner-up this year, as well)
  • 2002
    University of Notre Dame (Main Building), South Bend, IN (no travel-related restrooms that year)

Voting ends on August 31st. So if you’d like to vote for the restrooms at EWR or TPA, just click here.

Feature Image: Cintas

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1 comment

DaninMCI August 9, 2022 - 1:16 pm

Actual the Grand Casino Biloxi is still around. The original was imploded after Katrina but they rebuilt in 2006 so with new restrooms 🙂


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