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Doug Wallace

Contributing writer

Editor and publisher of TravelRight.Today, Doug Wallace is a habitué of hip hotels worldwide. Current clients include the London Telegraph, Fairmont Magazine, Trivago.ca and Today’s Bride.

A friend and I joke that the first sign of a crumbling marriage is when one partner silently thinks: “I hate the way you brush your teeth.” Well, the growing trend of hotel bathrooms with glass-walled showers, flimsy doors, exposed sinks or completely open everything may help speed up those divorce papers toute de suite.

Joking aside, the boho bathroom configuration is just plain awkward on many fronts—less and less private and more and more annoying.

We blame the boutique hotels in their rush to create room designs they think are romantic, possibly riffing off the whirlpool-in-the-corner idea, employing clear glass walls, wooden-shuttered glass walls, green-tinted wire-meshed glass walls, sliding doors, sliding panels. Ugh. We want a door that shuts, locks and traps us in our own reverie, safe in the knowledge that no one can see or hear us. Glass-enclosed toilets really don’t separate you from anything, particularly with the gaps all the way around.

Romantic weekends away are often planned early on in a relationship; a sexy, 48-hour indulgence of sex and spas and four-course dinners. But when they end with you knowing just a shade too much about your paramour’s private ablutions? That could well be a sure-fire route back to Tinder.

Even worse? Non-romantically involved parties sharing the room with the bathroom in full view. Awkward. Splitting a double room with friends or colleagues is out of the question at these places. Always ask ahead, or at least hit the internet to scope out the pictures.

The stand-alone room soaker tub we can handle. People booking those rooms have other things in mind, clearly. But exposed sinks just make us feel like we’ve booked a seedy boarding house where the shared toilets are down the hall.

Dignity-compromising or exhibitionist fun? There is a fine line between what is romantic and what is simply TMI. In the end, however much we love our partners, we don’t need to hear them pee.

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