After some duck ravioli and cod fritters at the sleek Thor, inside the Hotel on Rivington, we located what appears to be a sentry box between the bar and the cheery-bright, glass-ceilinged dining room that actually cloaks stairs leading down to a gloomy bathroom lair.
107 Rivington St., nr. Ludlow St.; 212-796-8040
Concept: Three dark water closets on either side of a narrow hallway; they resemble modern monks' chambers.
Privacy: The WCs, almost as big as a rooms at the Y, are all yours unless you count the company of your own reflection.
Amenities: Speakers in the ceiling blast the tunes playing upstairs ("This is the end … my only friend"); disposable Thor hand towels thick enough to diaper a baby.
Flaws: Confusing door handles figurines of male and female peasants (the only gender signifiers) are pushed, not pulled. The automatic toilets are ridiculously high and can cause splashback when they flush prematurely.
Strategy: If you intend on bringing company, perch in one of the two wicker chairs at the foot of the stairs and recon the hallway until the coast is clear.
— Daniel Maurer