It’s being advertised as having “the worst view of any hotel in the world,” but the new Walled Off Hotel in Bethlehem offers visitors a one-of-a-kind opportunity: the chance to live in a work of art by renowned and famously elusive graffiti artist Banksy.
Located just steps away from the wall separating Israel and Palestine, Banksy’s hotel overlooks the concrete barrier and an army watchtower. According to the Guardian, its 10 rooms get only 25 minutes of direct sunlight a day. Still, with traces of Banksy throughout, the hotel hopes to become a destination that will also spark dialogue.
“Walls are hot right now, but I was into them long before [Donald] Trump made it cool,” Banksy said in the statement, the Guardian reports.
The interior design is rife with political themes. A Banksy mural in one of the rooms depicts an Israeli soldier in a pillow fight with a Palestinian man. The hotel, styled after “an English gentlemen's club from colonial times,” also features a museum explaining the wall and the history of the region, as well as a gallery spotlighting Palestinian artists.
The hotel hopes that the lure of Banksy will draw Israeli citizens to visit, even if it means crossing through Palestinian-controlled territory (the site of the hotel itself is under Israeli military control.)
“I would like to invite everyone to come here, invite Israeli civilians to come visit us here,” hotel manager Wisam Salsaa tells the Guardian. “We want them to learn more about us, because when they know us it will break down the stereotypes and things will change.”
Rooms range from $30-a-night “budget rooms” with army barrack bunk beds to a “presidential suite” with its own library, cinema, roof garden, and tiki bar. Bookings can be made online starting March 11. The hotel opens to guests on March 20.