Quirky, artist-customized guest rooms equipped with wifi, fridge, and safes…
Leather couches and “an air of undeserved authority” in the communal areas…
VIPs who spring for the Presidential suite will enjoy access to a tiki bar, library, and Dead Sea minerals for use in a plunge bath spacious enough for four…
Sounds like the sort of hotel catering to well-heeled hipsters in San Francisco, Brooklyn, or Shoreditch…
The artist Banksy’s latest massive-scale project may never find its way onto Palestine’s official tourism site, but it’s no joke. The fully functioning hotel is set to open for online bookings on March 11.
Visitors should be prepared to put a $1000 deposit on their credit cards at check in, a security measure aimed at those who might be tempted to walk off with artwork by Sami Musa, Dominique Petrin, or the hotel’s famous founder.
Guests are also cautioned to contain their excitement about their upcoming stay when passing through customs at Tel Aviv airport, where travelers who blab about their intentions to visit the West Bank are often subjected to extra scrutiny. One wonders how many Tel Aviv TSA officers would get the appeal of staying in a hotel that boasts of its terrible views of the wall dividing Palestine from Israel.
The hotel’s proximity to the wall provides both its name and its raison-d’etre. Banksy is marking the centenary of British control of Palestine by enticing visitors to educate themselves, using his customary humor and lack of polemic as the launching pad.
To that end, a museum and gallery on the premises will be open to the public, offering “a warm welcome to people from all sides of the conflict and across the world.” (The hotel’s FAQ counters the notion that the project is an anti-Semitic statement, issuing a zero-tolerance policy where fanaticism is concerned.)
One of the hotel’s most original amenities is its in-house graffiti supplies store, staffed by experts ready to dispense “local advice and guidance” to visitors eager to contribute to the Wall’s proliferating street art. (For inspiration, refer to Banky’s work from a 2015 trip to Gaza, below.)
Armchair travelers can check out Banksy’s Walled Off Hotel here.
The online reservations desk will open for business on March 11, the same day the gallery and museum open to the public.