Queenstown, New Zealand Hotel Unzips Eye-opening New Loo

Hong Kong's Peninsula Hotel and the Sofitel Melbourne often attract visitors from around the world who want to visit a loo with a spectacular view. Now Queenstown's newest hotel, Sofitel Queenstown, is joining that prestigious list with the most eye-opening male toilet of them all.

Hotel News Resource The second floor men's toilet, which services the complex's restaurants including Bezu and Fatz Cat, has been tastefully and aesthetically designed by the complex's developers Cam Marsh and Mark Perriam of Perron, and Brett Taylor of Group CDA. It features six unique individual 'stands' manufactured by Three Sixty Limited in Auckland.

But it's not the tasteful design or subtle lighting that has tongues wagging in the New Zealand resort town.

It is the six-metre long backdrop of life-size photographs featuring local models in varying poses directly behind each of the six stands - each with a full view of the action.

One has a tape measure out, one a pair of binoculars, another has a camera, a fourth is peering over her glasses and so the list goes on.

Queenstown photographer Sheena Haywood shot the images of models from local agency Ican -- after Auckland model agencies turned down the job when they heard where the images were going to be placed.

'We had a lot of fun with the shoot, made all the better for the fact that there weren't any men there when we did it,' said Sheena.

Queenstown Signs made up the huge posters which are protected (naturally enough) by a backlit glass wall, and there are plans to change the images on a regular basis.

'We were casting around for ideas with our Auckland creative agency Ideology to do something a bit different in the men's room when we hit on this,' said Perron Marketing Manager Peter Dallimore.

'The wall has only been in place for just over a fortnight and we've already had some very funny feedback. It's used by guests or visitors to restaurants and bars within the Sofitel complex.

'One guy said it was a bit disconcerting to be 'going about his business' and to have so many pairs of eyes watching him, a bit like the Mona Lisa effect. Others have called it 'hilarious' or say it makes them feel like going to the gym.'

Flush with success, Sofitel General Manager Mark Wilkinson said the men's 'loo art' had been a great talking point.

'It emulates the 'signature toilets' of some great hotel complexes around the world such as those in Hong Kong's Peninsula hotel, and the 35th floor toilets with an amazing wrap-around view in the Sofitel Melbourne.

'It's just a bit of fun and there have been big queues outside ever since word got out. We plan to change the look on a regular basis.'

Mr Wilkinson said he was now under pressure from those of the female persuasion to decorate the neighbouring women's toilets with something equally eye-catching.

'Christmas is coming so watch this space!' he said.