“Travel – the art of journeying a thousand miles to be fascinated by the things we’d ignore at home” – Banksy
Banksy has a new endeavor in Palestine that wanderlusters need to put high on their 2017 travel bucket lists. The Walled Off Hotel (pun, certainly intended) is about to open to the public in Bethlehem. From March 11th, you’ll be able to stay in Banksy’s hotel, famed for having ‘The Worst View in the World.’
That view? The wall that separates Israel from the Palestine.
Like Banksy’s last project, Dismaland, this one is 100 percent interactive art. The hotel offers full amenities and hopes to be open for the whole of the centenary year (100 years ago the British occupied Palestine and started the nation down the path they’re still on today).
The Walled Off Hotel offers rooms, a piano bar, gallery, museum, and a graffiti shop — cheekily called Wall-Mart — so you can leave your own mark on the wall with a tag. The experience is highly curated by Banksy and local artists and academics who offer art from some of “the most notable Palestinian artists from the past 20 years.” The museum uses local art and artifacts to parse the history of the infamous dividing wall, too.
The piano bar’s player piano will play unique nightly concerts by heavy hitting musicians like Massive Attack, Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, Flea, and Hans Zimmer. Elton John played opening night. So… this is legit.
The hotel has a very Wes Anderson mets Soviet Realism meets British Colonial vibe. There isn’t a rate available yet for a room, but the site does mention a $1000 deposit when checking in because “the hotel contains valuable works of art, some of which you are permitted to lock yourself alone with overnight.” The hotel warns in their Questions page that you should expect an extra 15 minutes at check out so they can examine the art in your room and make sure you haven’t been naughty with it.
The hotel sits right along the wall near “all the restaurants, bars and taxis you’d expect.” And it certainly offers the intrepid traveler a once-in-a-lifetime experience to sleep in a work of Banksy art, learn some Palestinian history, investigate a difficult issue, and tag the wall.
More photos from The Walled Off Hotel: