Banksy Opens a Hotel with the Worst View in the World: Visit the Walled Off Hotel in Bethlehem

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…

…but Beth­le­hem?

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.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

The Always Bank­able Banksy

Watch Dis­ma­land — The Offi­cial Unof­fi­cial Film, A Cin­e­mat­ic Jour­ney Through Banksy’s Apoc­a­lyp­tic Theme Park

Banksy Cre­ates a Tiny Repli­ca of The Great Sphinx Of Giza In Queens

Ayun Hal­l­i­day is an author, illus­tra­tor, and the­ater mak­er.  Her play Zam­boni Godot is now play­ing in New York City. Fol­low her @AyunHalliday.

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