Notorious street artist Banksy is opening a hotel in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, and you can stay there — if you dare.
Banksy will open The Walled Off Hotel, a hotel nestled right against the barrier wall separating Israel from the Palestinian territories, later this month.
The Guardian reports that the West Bank hotel has “the worst view of any hotel in the world”, according to Banksy himself — several of the rooms overlook an Israeli security watchtower.
The hotel’s 10 rooms get just 25 minutes of direct sunlight a day.
On the up side, the hotel is awash in the artwork of its mysterious owner, especially room number three — ‘Banksy’s Room’ — in which guests will sleep under artwork depicting an Israeli and a Palestinian in a pillow fight.
The hotel, which has been built in complete secrecy and is intended to resemble a gentleman’s club from Britain’s colonial period, doubles as an art gallery, museum and political protest.
In the presidential suite, water splashes from a bullet-strafed watertank into the hot tub. In the cheapest room, the bunk beds have been scavenged from an abandoned army barracks.
Guests will be able to peruse a collection of Banksy artworks, including vandalised oil paintings and statues choking on tear gas fumes.
There’s even a mechanical baby grand piano that plays itself, programmed with a bespoke score of contemporary arrangements.
Every night, the piano will play back concerts recorded exclusively for the hotel by the likes of 3D from Massive Attack (who has previously denied rumours that he is Banksy), Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, Flea and Hans Zimmer.
“It’s exactly 100 years since Britain took control of Palestine and started rearranging the furniture — with chaotic results,” Banksy said.
“I don’t know why, but it felt like a good time to reflect on what happens when the United Kingdom makes a huge political decision without fully comprehending the consequences.”
A museum inside the hotel, curated with Essex University professor Gavin Grindon, explains the history of the region.
“If you are not completely baffled, then you don’t understand,” one video presentation concludes.
Despite its proximity to the barrier wall, the hotel is located in an area that is fully open to tourists from around the world, and has been declared a safe place to visit by the British Foreign Office.
The hotel opens to guests on Monday 20 March, with bookings via the website from as low as $30 a night, and is expected to remain open for a year.
“It’s a three-storey cure for fanaticism, with limited car parking,” Banksy said.