Banksy Opens Hotel in Bethlehem Within Site of Separation Barrier

banksy palestine bethlehem walled off hotel

Elusive artist Banksy has once again grabbed the attention of the art world with the announced opening of the Walled Off Hotel in Bethlehem. Located in viewing distance of the West Bank Separation Barrier, this former guest house saw a transformation over the past 14 months, as Banksy morphed the space into a art hotel.

Open from March 20, 2017, the hotel includes 8 guest rooms, 1 budget barracks, and a presidential suite. As with Dismaland, Banksy is also involving other artists in the project, with Palestinian artist Sami Musa and Canadian artist Dominique Petrin each designing rooms. The hotel also includes a piano bar, exhibition space, and area dedicated to the history of the wall. Visitors to the Walled Off Hotel will sleep in art laden rooms because “as Diane Arbus once said ‘to live with an artwork is something different, to glimpse it from the corner of your eye.'”

Why open a hotel in Palestine now? Banksy reminds us, “2017 marks a hundred years since the British took control of Palestine and helped kick start a century of confusion and conflict. At the time of writing, there are no special events being planned to mark the occasion.”

Though the hotel is sure to stir controversy, it's important to remember Banksy's longstanding connection to Palestine. More than a decade ago he painted the Separation Barrier, and in 2007 his Santa's Ghetto pop-up shop was located in Bethlehem. Over the years he's continued to visit, most recently leaving his mark in February 2015.

If nothing else, the hotel, which Banksy's website states is run by the local community, will bring attention—and tourist dollars—back to this conflicted area of the world. Rooms start from $30 for a bunk bed in the budget room, while common areas will be open to the public from 11 am to 7:30 pm (10 pm for the piano bar). Get booking now, as reservations are sure to go quickly when the system goes online March 11, 2017.

“The hotel boasts floor to ceiling views of graffiti-strewn concrete from almost every room. And for the exhibitionists amongst you—many are within range of the army watchtower.”

banksy palestine bethlehem walled off hotel banksy palestine bethlehem walled off hotel banksy hotel bethlehem separation wall gaza

banksy hotel bethlehem separation wall gaza

“Outfitted with surplus items from an Israeli military barracks, this room offers a bed from $30 a night.”

banksy hotel bethlehem

“This palatial suite is equipped with everything a corrupt head of state would need—a plunge bath able to accommodate up to four revelers, original artwork, library, home cinema, roof garden, tiki bar and a water feature made from a bullet-riddled water tank.”

banksy palestine bethlehem walled off hotel banksy hotel bethlehem

“Britain got its hands on Palestine in 1917 and the piano bar is themed as a colonial outpost from those heady days.”

banksy hotel bethlehem

Image via Channel 4.

banksy hotel bethlehem separation wall gaza banksy hotel bethlehem separation wall gaza banksy hotel bethlehem banksy hotel bethlehem

Banksy's hotel plans to remain open to guests at least through the end of 2017.

banksy hotel bethlehem separation wall gaza

Image via Channel 4.

banksy hotel bethlehem separation wall gaza

Image via Channel 4.

Banksy: Website | Instagram
h/t: [Arrested Motion, Colossal]

All images via Banksy except where noted.

Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Contributing Writer and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
Become a
My Modern Met Member
As a member, you'll join us in our effort to support the arts.
Become a Member
Explore member benefits

Sponsored Content