As per his usual practice of dropping surprises with his work, Banksy gave a preview of his first art lodgings called The Walled Off Hotel that is located on the West Bank in Palestine. The 10-room establishment is the artist's first foray into hospitality and it is quite an unusual one. The Walled Off Hotel looks out to the Israeli's West Bank Separation Wall with the upper floors facing the Israeli watch towers. Yup, the view is really something!
What is Banksy without some dystopian twist right? The hotel features a statue of a monkey bellhop to welcome visitors at the main entrance, a piano lounge that comes equipped with CCTV cameras while the dorm-style accommodations are modelled after military barracks. The Presidential Suite on the top floor boasts a big red bed, a small cinema room and has a Jacuzzi in the middle.
The artist himself decorates each of the rooms. In one mural, a pillow fight between a soldier and protestor is seen above a luxurious bed. While other decorative artwork includes a painting showing Palestinian children swinging around the Israeli watch tower like they're on a carousel.
In true Banksy fashion, no one had any idea that the hotel was being built and it threw even the Palestinian officials off when it opened its doors suddenly last week. The Walled Off Hotel is reportedly a genuine accommodation lest you think it is part of an extensive installation like his previous theme park project, Dismaland.
The Walled Off Hotel employs 45 staff and will highlight works by Palestinian artists as well. Rates start at US$30 (RM135) onwards for the bunk-bed room and bookings can be made from 11th March 2017.