Our favorite show returns this week, and while the Lannisters, Baratheons, Targaryens, and more vie for the Iron Throne, we searched all the land for thrones that are nearly as worthy. There’s no rich like that kind of rich that can afford luxury on the latrine. Hotels, restaurants, spas and private mansions around the world have wondrous water closets made of stone and glass and toilets made of gold and crystal. Just remember your ritzy restroom etiquette—use the toilet paper from the outside in.
MUMIN PAPA CAFE, AKHASHI, JAPAN
If the line for the ladies restroom at Mumin Papa café starts to get too long, it’s probably because the occupants of this waterworld water closet don’t want to leave. The toilet is surrounded on three sides by an aquarium featuring a live, swimming sea turtle. The beachside restaurant paid $275,000 to build this marine latrine so its patrons could answer the call of nature in the midst of nature.
CHAIRMAN’S SUITE, VENETIAN HOTEL, LAS VEGAS
The opulent throne rooms in Sin City could fill a list of their own, but for the most luxurious Vegas bathroom, we’ll take the Chairman’s Suite at the Venetian. The invite-only four-bedroom suite comes with four and a half bathrooms detailed with Bulgari toiletries. While you’re shaving in style, gaze out the incredible arched windows at the Las Vegas strip. I suppose the rest of the suite—with its karaoke room, spa, salon and 27 TVs—is worth the $15,000 per night price of admission.
THE PLAZA HOTEL, NEW YORK CITY
There is no shortage of Big Apple hotels in which you can bathe in over-the-top luxury, but the classic is still the best. The Edwardian Suite at the Plaza has Sherle Wagner faucets plated in 24-carat gold, plus handcrafted marble vanities and floral mosaics. After your soak, dry off with thick Turkish cotton towels before heading out to walk Fifth Avenue. There are newer and more chic throne rooms nearby, sure (like at The Standard, where tourists on the High Line can see into your bathroom), but give me the old-fashioned high-class powder room of the Plaza.
HANG FUNG GOLD TECHNOLOGY GROUP GOLDEN TOILET, HONG KONG
Why all that killing and squabbling over an iron throne when there’s something so much better? In 2001 the Hang Fung group bought a toilet made entirely of 24 carat gold. This is a working lavatory with an automatic flushing system, but don’t get any ideas—they’re not going to let you relieve yourself in a $29 million john. Pictures only, please.
JEWEL-ENCRUSTED TOILET, FOR SALE IN JAPAN
All right, I’ll be the one to say it: A solid gold toilet is the Ron Paul of bathroom fixtures. Really bling it up a notch with this $130,000 toilet built in Japan and encrusted with 72,000 Swarovksi crystals. This crystal crapper is more than mere decadence. According to this YouTube clip featuring its creators, the toilet is intended to please a deity who lives in the commode.
PENINSULA HOTEL, TOKYO
One more haute hotel washroom: The toilet at the Peninsula Tokyo is an automated masterpiece. It senses your approach and opens and closes automatically.. You can even choose to have the seat pre-warmed for your arrival. While you’re on the throne, choose whether you want the bidet, dry or “water massage” option. To really tune out the rest of Tokyo and the world, put the entire Peninsula bathroom into “spa” mode. The system will dim the lights, play a little soft music, and activate the “do not disturb” setting.
SKI HOME, PARK CITY
Private homes can have opulent radiant restrooms, too. For those who love the woods, but not going to the bathroom in the woods, this wild WC is just the thing. Found in an $8 million-plus ski home in Park City, Utah, this bathroom uses natural accents to echo the scenery outside. Of course, you could just hop in the elevated tub and stare out at the trees.
NATURA CABANAS, CABARATE, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Come to this Dominican spa for the gorgeous private beach on the country’s north coast, beautiful bungalows, and peaceful TV-free atmosphere. Stay for the incredible bathrooms, where each stone was laid by hand. Upon arrival you’ll find flower petals placed around the room. While showering in that round stone tub, gaze out the slatted window at the natural beauty beyond.
GLASS PAVILION, SANTA BARBARA, CALIF.
Built in 2010 by architect Steve Hermann as his private home, the Glass Pavilion is mod, sleek, and a house for exhibitionists. The gorgeous gray bathroom has glass (and no curtain) on one of its long walls, allowing you an expansive view as you shower and bathe. You know what they say: People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones, and they should make sure nobody’s lurking around the property when they need to use the bathroom.
BEACHFRONT MANSION, MALIBU, CALIF.
Imagine yourself reclining in this great walnut-shaped white tub, gazing out at the Pacific Ocean. And then imagine going back in time to warn yourself against getting that psychology degree so you could become a tech multi-millionaire and actually afford a slice of paradise. This Malibu dream home sold for $17 million last year, and the view from the bathroom is worth every penny.
Andrew Moseman is the Online Editor of Popular Mechanics. His work has appeared in Esquire, Discover, The Awl, Mental_Floss, and the Georgia Tech Alumni Magazine.