I was browsing London hotels on hotels.com and noticed that many, in the room information section, said they had "partially open bathrooms". This includes one where the room is described as en-suite. The site offers no definition. It seems to be a general hotel-site category, rather than something specific to these hotels.

What does this mean? Is the bathroom partially open because the door doesn't fit the doorway?

Or is there a viewing gallery for spectators?

Or is one wall missing?

I'm aware of the unfortunate existence of "open concept bathrooms" or "open-plan bathrooms", where paying couples are made to hear, smell and (if they don't studiously look away) see each other doing things that humans were intended to do in private, described accurately here as "the ultimate hotel horror". Is this that?

I've tried looking online but the results are inconclusive:

  • 18
    "things that humans were intended to do in private" - that is your assumption, formed by the cultural background you grew up in. For thousands of years, the thinking was different, and in China (and many other cultures), restrooms have no stalls. Although I agree with your wishes for privacy (I grew up in the same culture), understand that is not a given fixed rule - it all depends on your environment.
    – Aganju
    May 15, 2016 at 21:42
  • Distantly related: movies.stackexchange.com/questions/31321/… Jul 7, 2016 at 19:56
  • @Aganju: More and more Chinese bathrooms have stalls these days. You can be in the country for weeks or longer before first wandering into a WC in a hutong or in a rural area with a row of holes or a row of people perched over the holes (-: Jan 29, 2019 at 5:34

2 Answers 2


Partial Open Bathrooms, usually refers to ensuite facilities where the sink and mirror are out in the open, while the shower and toilet are inside closed rooms/stalls. A lot of the ones I have seen have a divider between the sleeping area and washing area, but usually just something minimal, like three quarter height screen or wooden slats. It seems to be trending in tropical hotels, but would work well in city hotels, as the design makes the bath area feel bigger while still maximizing the space for the living/sleeping portion

  • 3
    I've seen situations where the shower or bath is not inside a separate closed room (only the toilet is) described in these terms as well, especially in "design" hotels. You'd really need to see pictures of the room or contact the hotel to know exactly what they mean by this. May 16, 2016 at 1:56
  • @ZachLipton Was it an Ibis Budget hotel? I have encountered this bathroom style twice in them, and I assume it is standard. May 16, 2016 at 6:28
  • @FedericoPoloni Don't think I've ever stayed at an Ibis Budget. I've definitely seen it at a boutique hotel in Berlin where a large tub was the first thing you'd see as you came in the door, the sink was in the same room as the bed, the shower just separated from the sink area by a glass door, and the toilet separate in a small room. I was by myself so I didn't mind, but certainly some people are bothered by this kind of layout. May 16, 2016 at 6:35
  • I've stayed in a few of these since asking. In London, it generally means that a cupboard, wardrobe, or corner of a room has been converted into the smallest possible ensuite bathroom, and there was no room for the sink and mirror, so it's in the main room (possibly overhanging the bed). Jan 28, 2019 at 18:17

I think this depends very much on the hotel but I assume the room pictured below could be described as featuring a "partially open bathroom".

Next to the bed is a bathtub which separates the living area from the bathroom area and it can be curtained off. There also is a shower and toilet with a sliding door. The bathroom area is accessible from the corridor on the right without a door.

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  • Can you look up and check how this hotel describes its bathrooms on hotels.com ? Jul 20, 2016 at 17:48
  • 1
    @user568458 the bathroom is described as "Bathroom - Private bathroom, deep soaking bathtub" on hotels.com - I am not sure I would agree. As stated it is pretty much up to the hotel how they call it.
    – mts
    Jul 20, 2016 at 17:53

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