Here's to these porcelain gods

By Katia Hetter, CNNPublished 31st August 2012
Will the Hollywood Bowl take the throne? Or will the fans of the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis turn out to worship their porcelain gods? Or perhaps the Vanity Nightclub in Las Vegas will win for its fancified facilities.
When you gotta go, these are the restrooms you're looking for.
These locales are among the public restroom facilities nominated for the 11th Annual Cintas' America's Best Restroom awards. Other nominees include Gitane Restaurant in San Francisco; Mie N Yu Restaurant in Washington; Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel in Chicago; Da Marino Ristorante Italiano in New York; Buc-ee's in New Braunfels, Texas; and Lane Stadium/Worsham Field at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia.
The nominees were flushed out by a team of survey editors, who narrowed public submissions down to the top 10 based on cleanliness, visuals, innovation, function and design. The contest is open to any non-residential restroom accessible to the general public.
Cintas sells hygiene products and services to businesses that cater to the public including restaurants, airports and hotels.
"If a company takes care of its restrooms, that's great for Cintas but it's also a benefit to the organization because consumers judge the places they frequent based on such factors as the cleanliness of their restrooms," writes Sabrina Zimring, Survey Editor of Cintas' America's Best Restroom Contest, in an e-mail.
While Buc-ee's and Radisson are Cintas customers, the company says that doesn't have any impact on the results: Members of the general public vote for the finalists online and determine the winner by popular vote.
Take a tour of the finalists through our gallery above or go to the contest site for a photographic tour to choose your King of the Throne.
The Field Museum in Chicago, which was last year's top loo, may be hard to top.
The museum boasts ground floor men's and women's bathrooms that are connected by a family restroom, accessible to both male and female visitors. There are changing tables in bathrooms for both men and women and smaller toilets and sinks for younger visitors. And there are even museum displays for people wanting to linger in the bathrooms.
"People come in for our dinosaurs, mummies and gems, and last year, they were coming here for our bathrooms," says Field Museum spokeswoman Emily Waldren, who reports that a plaque describing the award has been discreetly placed outside the ground floor bathroom. "I hear people walk by and say, 'These are the best restrooms in America.' "
Vote for your favorite U.S. facility through October 26 and make nominations for next year's contest.
There's also a Canadian contest for residents to vote for the best "toilette" in all of Canada for the third year running. The Toronto restaurant e11even took the top toilet award last year, while the Cactus Club Cafe in Vancouver won in 2010.
Whose facilities would you nominate as top toilet?