Lonely Planet Writer

Banksy Hotel in Bethlehem begins taking reservations for the "worst view in the world"

Only Banksy could open a hotel with a terrible view, and still make it one of the most hottest places to stay in coming months.

A post shared by Banksy (@banksy) on Mar 3, 2017 at 5:44am PST

Taking reservations from next weekend, The Walled Off Hotel is about to open for business in Bethlehem. It is planning to remain open throughout 2017 and beyond, if there is guest demand. The hotel is designed to mark the centennial of when Britain became involved with the Palestinian states.

Banksy artwork in the hotel in Bethlehem.
Banksy artwork in the hotel in Bethlehem. Image by The Walled Off Hotel

As hotel properties go, the hotel name is potentially one of the most descriptive yet: designed to spark conversation, all windows look out at the wall that divides the West Bank from Israel. Rather than sparkling beach views or stunning mountain scenery, guests are invited to consider what the view really means – especially for those locals who can’t “check out” after their stay.

Banksys new hotel is in Bethlehem.
Banksy’s new hotel is in Bethlehem. Image by The Walled Off Hotel

Inside, the rooms are each a work of art. In addition to designing some rooms, Banksy collaborated with artists including Sami Musa and Dominique Petrin on the design. Other room options include budget-conscious bunks for $30 per night and the Presidential suite, which also lives up to its name and can sleep six people.

Budget rooms are outfitted with surplus from an Israeli military barracks.
Budget rooms are outfitted with surplus from an Israeli military barracks. Image by The Walled Off Hotel

On the property, guests can also enjoy spending time in the piano bar, museum, and gallery. Unsurprisingly, each is designed to remind guests that art is provocative. For example in the piano bar where the piano plays on its own, surveillance cameras are mounted as one might see taxidermied game in more conventional accommodation.

Even the bathrooms get the Banksy treatment at the Bethlehem hotel.
Even the bathrooms get the Banksy treatment at the Bethlehem hotel. Image by The Walled Off Hotel

At first glance, The Walled Off Hotel website looks as hip and posh as any in East London or Brooklyn. It uses warm, welcoming language to make it clear that as a Banksy project, The Walled Off Hotel is meant to make a statement: “operated by the local community, we offer a warm welcome to everyone from all sides of the conflict and across the world.” Upon arrival though, guests are greeted with “the worst view in the world” outside their hotel window, and plenty of art and social commentary to consider both during and after their stay.

The Walled Off Hotel Reservations Desk opens at 9 am GMT on 11 March.

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