After receiving word that the Restroom Association of Singapore awarded its first and only six-stars for a particular establishment’s restrooms, I was intrigued.
We hardly pay attention to the public restrooms we use, unless they are extremely putrid that we remember never to use them again. So what constitutes a six-star toilet? That was what I wanted to find out.
In the Shoppes at Marina Bay, you will be able to find three of these six-star toilets for both genders. Of course, the most atas toilet in Singapore has to be located in one of the most atas buildings on our island.
A commoner like myself can count the number of times that I’ve to Marina Bay Sands, and neither have I had the time to notice what the toilets there are like in the few times I’ve been there, so I had no idea what to expect from the toilets.
In my opinion, a six-star toilet has a classy interior that makes for Instagrammable toilet selfies, a floral fragrance and most importantly, good ventilation. I don’t know how many times I’ve had to take off my shirt because of the perspiration formed from exercising my sphincter muscles.
Before I dive deep into my review, I went to Restroom Association of Singapore’s website to have a better understanding of the review system. Stars are awarded based on five criteria – design, cleanliness, effectiveness, maintenance and user satisfaction. Although the six-star rating was made available in January 2015, it wasn’t until May 2019 when the first Singapore toilet was awarded this rating.
I didn’t want to simply enter the toilet for a cursory look. No. I wanted to have the full six-star experience. That’s why, prior to this assignment, I made sure to finish an entire bowl of piping hot, tonguing-tingling mala.
Initially, I wanted to walk around the mall first, however, the call of nature came quicker than expected. The body wants what the body wants. I made my way to the nearest toilet, on Level 1, my heart beating with anticipation of release and the expectation of experiencing something that would take my breath away—hopefully not at the same time.
The six-star toilet was not hard to find. The first thing you would see upon entering the toilet was the six-star sign plastered on the wall by the Restroom Association of Singapore. I didn’t have time to examine the design of the toilet as there was a more urgent business at hand.
While sitting and releasing, I noticed some unique features of this restroom. Firstly, the cubicle had a dispenser which produced sanitising liquid for you to wipe the seat should you find its cleanliness unsatisfactory.
Usually, public restrooms will come with a bidet, for those of you who are environmentalists and want to cut down on your use of paper. But this toilet was different.
However, instead of a hose, I noticed a little lever at the side of the toilet bowl. My curiosity got the better of me and I pushed the lever. In a turd of events, my nether regions were blasted by a cold jet of water. I am thankful that I did not jump out of my seat, otherwise, judging from the power of the spray, it wouldn’t just be the land down under that got wet. I totally did not expect the toilet to come with an automatic bidet, as it is not something we commonly see here in Singapore.
After I concluded my business, I waited for the toilet to become empty before I took more photos — especially when there were kids running in and out in my time there. I wasn’t ready to end up like that NUS kid.
It took me a while to take these photos. We’re not talking about any ulu toilet. I was in Marina Bay Sands, a popular area for both tourists and locals alike with high human traffic. Each of these photos had to be fast and furious, or should I say, flush and furious.
I inspected the toilet further and compared it against my expectations. I noticed that the toilet had one of of those air fresheners that sprays out at certain intervals, and it emitted a nice floral scent that would definitely mask the smell of anything nasty that went down. Although the smell was not as strong as I expected it to be for a six-star toilet, it was adequate. The toilets had a marble finish a well which gave it that classy look I was looking for, however, it was nothing unique, unlike the toilets on this list.
The other toilets on Level 2 and Level 1, didn’t look too different either, as did the handicapped toilet. Just marble and more marble. The features were the same too. Not that I approve of it, but I can totally understand if lovers wanted to partake in some hanky-panky here. Top marks in the romance department.
What about the toilets without six stars? What is the difference? I made a visit to this particular restroom on B2 that had a five-star rating instead and I discovered that other than it being less marbled it didn’t have much of a difference as compared to their six-star counterparts as the same features were present.
I think Marina Bay Sands is just the first toilet to receive this six-star rating. I believe within the next year or so, more of these will be awarded to other toilets across our island.
I feel that the features above aren’t the only reason why this restroom has six stars. I really want to applaud the aunties and uncles who do their part to upkeep the toilet. They are always on standby, and if they are not standing outside the toilet, they are busy cleaning it. So, before I left the toilet, I did the only right thing that was left to do.
I urge everyone else to do the same whenever you have the opportunity to. Show some love to our uncles and aunties! After all, who else is gonna clean up your mess with a smile? I believe these uncles and aunties are the true MVPs and contribute largely to the toilet’s six-star rating.
We're hiring Photojournalist interns