A Palestinian guesthouse packed with artwork of the elusive British graffiti artist Banksy has opened its doors in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, with a sneak peek of what the owner sarcastically called the “hotel with the worst view in the world.”
Guests to The Walled Off hotel find themselves sleeping inside a work of art, with customized guest rooms outfitted with pieces by Banksy, palestinian artist Sami Musa and Montreal-based artist Dominique Petrin, with more to follow.
The nine-room establishment named “The Walled Off Hotel” will officially open on March 11, but here’s a sneak peek at the hotel looking directly at the West Bank separation barrier erected by Israel to ward off potential Palestinian attackers. The barrier, which Palestinians consider to be a land grab that stifles their movement, is heavily decorated by artists and Banksy has previously painted several murals on a walled segment of it.
The hotel, several of whose rooms look onto an Israeli security watchtower, is awash in the trademark satirical work of the mysterious artist. The highlight is room number three, known as “Banksy’s Room,” where guests sleep in a king-size bed underneath Banksy’s artwork showing a Palestinian and an Israeli in a pillow fight.
The hotel also features a presidential suite and a museum with the artist’s politically-charged work. It has the markings of a gentleman’s club from the English colonial period. The entrance to one small niche accommodates a life-size figure of Arthur James Balfour signing his 1917 letter that came to be known as the Balfour declaration, and was the basis for the international push for the creation of Israel.
The whole project took 14 months to complete and was kept under complete secrecy, in accordance with Banksy’s request to protect his anonymity. The cheapest rooms were available from $30 a night.
all images courtesy of Banksy