World's Sexiest Hotel Showers
A bright, spacious room. A glittering wall tiled in custom Italian glass mosaics. A crystal chandelier hanging from a drop ceiling. Restaurant? Ballroom? Nope, it’s a bathroom at the $200 million Mondrian South Beach in Miami. And that chandelier isn’t just a lighting fixture: turn a couple knobs, and you’ll be immersed in one of the world’s sexiest hotel showers.
Where hotel showers were once a utilitarian afterthought (clingy curtain, anyone?), they may now be the pièce de résistance of the entire room. This new breed of bathroom fixtures features glass walls that change opacity at the push of a button, multiple showerheads, and even killer city views.
Hoteliers know that a sexy shower can be the deciding factor in sealing a reservation. In an interview with Travel + Leisure, hotelier André Balazs—whose latest property is the Standard New York—noted, “I don’t think you can possibly overstate [a bathroom’s] importance.” Indeed, Balazs may have started the haute shower trend in the ’90s with huge bathrooms (at the Standard in downtown L.A., they measure a whopping 270 square feet). Now it’s no longer a common practice for hoteliers to “borrow” space from the bedroom and create a tiny bathroom nook.
Showers, especially, impress by their sheer size. Of course, a great location doesn’t hurt, either.
At the Viceroy Anguilla, for example, roomy showers are outdoors (and if there’s anything more exhilarating than taking a shower under a blanket of stars, we can’t think of it) and have wooden shutters that open up to a gorgeous view of the sea. Too breathtaking? No problem; have a seat on the relaxing, custom-built benches.
Meanwhile, in large metropolises, hoteliers get even more creative when designing showers, perhaps to make up for limited space issues. At the boutique Cocker hotel in Buenos Aires, the shower is set in a glass cube, which is stacked directly above the bed. The Andaz in San Diego takes a different approach; at the touch of a button, the glass partition between shower and hotel room turns clear or opaque.
So forget testing the firmness of the bed or checking out the contents of the mini-bar. These days it’s all about the shower.
Mondrian South Beach, Miami
The Shower: The custom glass mosaic tiled wall depicts Miami’s blue sky and fluffy clouds. Water trickles down from a ceiling-mounted rain showerhead incorporated into the voluptuous body of a crystal chandelier lit by recessed lighting.
The Suds: The bath products are from Agua by Korres.
The Property: Designer Marcel Wanders’s chic hotel has custom-designed furnishings, whimsical accents, and spectacular views of the city, bay, and ocean.
The Shower: Outdoor showers are connected to the rest of the marble-accented bathroom though sliding glass doors and have wooden shutters that open up to gorgeous seascapes.
The Suds: Shampoo and conditioner are by Neil George of Beverly Hills.
The Property: A 166-room resort located on a sophisticated Caribbean island popular with jet-setting rock stars and celebs.
Alila Cha-Am, Thailand
The Shower: This is the next best thing to actually singing in the rain: fitted with built-in Bose sound systems, the showers at this resort are by German manufacturer Dornbracht, the Porsche of bathroom fittings. Set into the ceiling, the 24-by-19-inch showerhead drizzles and sprays like natural rainfall. Choose from a deluge spray that forms a curtain of water around you or a central spray that pours down and soaks you entirely.
The Suds: Spa Alila products are organic and made by hand in Bali from fine raw materials by local company Sensatia Botanicals.
The Property: Leafy palm trees, powdery white sand beaches, and the cerulean waters of the Gulf of Thailand provide the backdrop for this tropical getaway in a quaint coastal town.
Park Hyatt Maçka Palas, Istanbul
The Shower: Taking cues from traditional Turkish baths, bathrooms have heated floors, separate steam rooms, and a heated stone seat where guests can receive spa treatments. A stone sink positioned next to the shower, called kurna in Turkish and characteristic of hammams, are used to collect cold water.
The Suds: Parisian perfumer Blaise Mautin created a scent exclusively for Maçka Palas that captures the rose aroma from the Isparta region with hints of jasmine and sandalwood.
The Property: Located in the posh neighborhood of Nisantasi and set within two buildings, one of which is a 1922 Neoclassical beauty that houses 90 Art Deco–decorated guest rooms.
Singita Sweni, Kruger National Park, South Africa
The Shower: A sliding-glass door is the only design element that separates the indoor bathtub and outdoor shower. The shower space is also entirely open to the wild—an ideal vantage point from which to observe the baboons and birds in the trees below, as well as elephants, waterbucks, and crocodiles in the river.
The Suds: Body wash, hydrating cream, shine therapy shampoo, and silk finish conditioner supplied by Dermalogica.
The Property: The lodge, which takes the name of the river it overlooks, sits on stilts. Rooms have dark wood decks that are almost hidden in the surrounding African landscape.
Donovan House, Washington, DC
The Shower: With nary a sharp corner or square angle in sight, bathers inside these unique cocoon spiral showers need never worry about stubbing their toes. Better yet, the showers are made of opaque Plexiglas, so they feel open and never fog up.
The Suds: The 168-year-old apothecary, C.O. Bigelow, provides the bath and spa products.
The Property: The sleek 139-room Washington, D.C., hotel is all about clean architectural materials such as limestone and dark teakwood paired with unexpected dashes of olive green and deep purple.
The Shower: The view plays an important role in the design throughout Amangiri, especially in the shower. At the end of a skylit dressing room in the 34 suites, a large wet room clad in green limestone is outfitted with a sunken tub, twin rain showers, and a floor-to-ceiling vertical picture window that frames the imposing mesa or the ample desert.
The Suds: The bar soap is created by a local artisan in the nearby town of Big Water using organic goat milk and a custom-blended fragrance.
The Property: Situated on 600 acres, the Aman’s newest property takes its design cues from the surrounding environment, including textural elements in raw and polished wood, stone, and leather.
Basico, Playa del Carmen, Mexico
The Shower: Book the Patricia, Paulina, and Sofia rooms for the industrial-chic tub and shower that shares the bedroom space; floor-to-ceiling windows look out to the ocean.
The Suds: A local company makes the bath amenities, including a green apple shampoo, honey and coconut conditioner, and peppermint and rosemary soap.
The Property: Located in the heart of hip Playa, this modern beach hotel features lush plants, oil-drum swimming pools, and exposed pipes in its public spaces.
Andaz San Diego
The Shower: At the touch of a button, a glass partition that separates the 1,275-foot Star Suite from a humongous shower turns clear or opaque, connecting the showering experience with the rest of the bedroom.
The Suds: Made with sage, almond, and spearmint, the shampoo, conditioner, and shower gel are supplied by environmentally conscious Korres, Greece’s oldest homeopathic pharmacy.
The Property: In the heart of the Gaslamp Quarter, the property features 159 guest rooms with custom fixtures, flat-screen TVs, and generous-size glass-enclosed bathrooms.
Sossusvlei Desert Lodge, Namibia
The Shower: Cool off in the afternoon in the outdoor shower and take in vistas of the awe-inspiring dunes and stony outcrops rising against an endless blue sky. Keep the pocket telescope (stocked in all rooms) handy to spot ostriches or kudus.
The Suds: Called “African Grass”, andBeyond’s guest amenity range at Sossusvlei is produced in South Africa using organic herbs and elements.
The Property: Quad biking over the ocher dunes, nature walks with a naturalist, and astronomer-led sky views in the rooftop observatory are just some of the options at this secluded andBeyond lodge situated deep in the heart of Namibia’s ancient desert.
Four Seasons Chiang Mai, Thailand
The Shower: New Pool Villas feature two separate rain showers set in a secluded outdoor garden, where a veil of wild ginger, spider lilies, flowering banana trees, heliconia, and Spanish moss allow for complete privacy.
The Suds: Natural bath products hail from Provence, courtesy of L’Occitane.
The Property: Decorated with outstanding Siamese art, the two-story Lanna-style pavilions house 64 units that look out to the Mae Rim Valley’s jungle-covered hills.
The Cocker, Buenos Aires
The Shower: A glass-encased shower sits above a four-poster bed in the La Blanca room, giving guests an interesting vantage point both in—and out—of the shower.
The Suds: The hotel keeps things simple with Dove products.
The Property: Located on the edge of vibrant San Telmo, the Art Nouveau townhouse has been converted into an über-chic but homey B&B.
Cocoa Island, Maldives
The Shower: Take a dip then shower? Or shower then swim? The rustic-chic shower decks at the back of the Loft Villas feature staircases that lead directly into the cerulean lagoon.
The Suds: Bath products at Cocoa Island are by COMO Shambhala.
The Property: Globe-trotters prefer this chilled-out, toes-in-the-sand retreat, where the focus is on organic cuisine, yoga and meditation, and Asian-inspired spa rituals.