Posh Loo is back

Forget fluorescent lighting, mouldy tiles and no toilet paper in sight. The posh loo is back. Gone are the days of the bad loo. We’re talking prestige, top-of-the-line, anything goes and the better the loo the classier the address. Call it secret girls business, somewhere to hide or just to have a catch up. It’s an important part of the evening to get pretty again. SheSaid decided to find the best loos in Australia. Here is what we found.

Light Brigade Hotel (Cnr Jersey Road and Oxford Street, Woollahra, tel: 02 9331 2930) Sometimes one door closing can be another door opening. When the council rejected our idea for a cocktail bar on the third storey we decided to design the most incredible women’s toilet. The owners Ben and Lucy May were well aware of the return of the powder room. “We wanted to design a fantastic women’s toilet. It had to be a glamorous and feminine space.”

It’s attractions read better than a real estate agent’s description of a sought after inner city penthouse. A modern and spectacular entrance to a huge room through a white state-of-the art mesh curtain. Pink nubuck poufs to rest on, an outstanding view of the Sydney skyline and impeccable lighting making you look so good you’ll forget why you came in there in the first place. The ladies bathroom at Hugo’s Lounge (Bayswater Road, Kings Cross, tel: 02 9357 4411) comes over all sultry and inviting with owner David Evans’ thoughtful and hand-picked touches. Original artworks by young Sydney artist Jason Benjamin adorn the walls, two vintage 1950s pendant lights help to create the expensive and luscious atmosphere and the carpet runs right through. The seats are soft and sexy, the soap is Aveda and the scent in the air is burning essential oils. “I alternate from lavender to jasmine because floral oils smell really good,” says Evans. Oh, did we mention the tissues and the toilet paper are top-of-the-line too? They are scented with Aloe Vera and very, very soft.

In 1929 The Butterfly Room was born. (The State Theatre, 49 Market St, City, tel: 02 9373 6655) For decades ladies have sat in the auditorium of The State Theatre and whispered, “Have you seen the Butterfly Room yet?” Designed by Henry E. White this themed powder room is breathtaking. On the ceiling are four large painted butterflies, encircling each of the lights, which are themselves, stained-glass butterflies. The mirrors are butterfly shaped; the parlor chairs, settees and armchairs continue the theme. This is the old fashioned grandmother of powder rooms in Australia; so renowned you can do a guided historical tour. Ever dreamt of a private lift that whisks you directly to the ladies powder room? You can stop dreaming because the lift at Box on Collins (189 Collins Street, Melbourne, tel: 03 9663 0411) does just that. Ian Halliday’s architectural genius glides through into the ladies room at Box. There was no height limit on the top floor so the doors became five metres high. The mirrors are floor to ceiling with lighting perfect for the day or nighttime Diva. Two dome shaped skylights spill natural light in during the day and at night you’ll have no problem applying your lippy with real theatre spotlights.

If you must get into trouble do it at Honky Tonks. (Duckboard Place, Melbourne; tel: 03 9662 4555) The owners believed they should be practical when it came to the size of their cubicles. They were designed to be over-sized and up to five to eight people have been known to squeeze into one so rock ‘n roll. The doors to the toilets are alligator and snakeskin; the space is dark and warm with a fibreglass basin designed by one of the owners. It is lit up underneath and gives off a glimmering tortoishell glow. This room has a tendency to lure girls away but be careful naughty boys because there is a one-sided mirror to the entrance of the club. Your girlfriends might just be kicking back on the comfort of leather cushioned bench seats and keeping an eye on things. If you’re wondering what the unusual and uplifting smell in the air is it is lemonade air freshener.

It would not be difficult to presume that the owner of Anise, Tony Harper (697 Brunswick St, New Farm, tel: 07 3358 1558) had his priorities a little out of whack, but he was forced to do so. “The council wouldn’t let me have it any other way.” Harper ended up having to dedicate a quarter of his 55 square metre edgy wine bar to a uni-sex powder room, which is known to get very interesting late at night. Uni-sex seems to be the way of the future, however at Anise it is possible to get enough feminine privacy in the entrance room. You can sit quietly and touch up without “him” seeing your tricks of the trade. Devoid of tacky paper towels, (they are made of fine cotton). Don’t forget to try the hand-cream.