Potty Talk: I would not walk 500 miles

Created by Asli Kocak

We once had a vision: find a bathroom so splendid it warrants a 30-minute walk, even if it just meant we’d get five minutes of glory. Alas, it was not to be.

Our trip to the Hyatt Place Medford began on a crisp Sunday in the early afternoon, with a cumulative 400 pages of reading to do before the next morning, so we opted for a car ride. Little did we know we were making a huge mistake. The route there is treacherous at best, with left turns onto busy streets and confusing roundabouts galore. By some miracle, however, we did successfully get there in one piece (which is to say two pieces, or one piece per person).

We arrived somewhat nauseated from our travels (or should I say travails!), so we were relieved to find the lobby bathroom immediately to our right upon entrance. 

Sam turned to David, breathless, and said, “David, I have a feeling we’re not in Medford anymore.”

David responded, “We are,” to which Sam sheepishly answered, “Oh yeah, that adds up.” 

Between the textured wallpaper, intricate light fixtures and granite countertops, everything appeared positively sumptuous. Unfortunately, all this seems to have just been a veneer, masking this bathroom’s transgression of a fundamental law of bathrooms — but more on that later…

For now, let us tell you about the violation of a much lesser bathroom law: Thou shalt not offer an exciting feature but not deliver on it. The wooden door to the bathroom boasts a long vertical handle, on which were emblazoned the words “HAND SANITIZER.” Oddly, the words are the same length, producing massive letters in the word “hand” and teeny-tiny ones in “sanitizer.” This was not just a friendly reminder to sanitize. Rather, there is a hand sanitizer dispenser built into the handle itself. Stand down cronut, step back weird hoodies with headphones as part of the string — you have found your match. Or so we thought. The creators of the hand sanitizer handle couldn’t even be bothered to give it an exciting fusion name (they came up with PullClean), so we should have known this would work about as well as stuffing 100 first-years into a building half an hour from campus. Despite the obvious warnings, we excitedly pushed on the lever, only to find nothing at all happened aside from our hearts sinking to the pleasantly tiled cream-colored floor.

But back to the major lavatorial offense, one that we barely realized until one of us decided he was ready for a fully immersive bathroom experience as we prepared to leave. The toilet, as it turns out, is not so much a toilet, as it is a sculpture in the shape of a toilet with some water in it (but nothing like Maurizio Cattelan’s “America”), which is to say that it does not flush. It comes close to flushing, teasing the user into thinking the plumbing is sound, but it inevitably disappoints.

We must here address a major flaw in our column. We could not test the women’s bathroom, so we do not know if it offers a similar experience or if it actually has a functioning toilet. This is why we generally prefer to review all-gender bathrooms. Unfortunately, the Hyatt Place Medford has none, another source of disappointment.

Hyatt Place Medford: 4/10 — Go for it if you’re in the area … but you won’t be.


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