A doorman stands at the entrance of The Walled Off Hotel in the West Bank city of Bethlehem Friday.
There’s no pool, but there is a piano bar that exudes “an air of undeserved authority.” That’s part of the promise at The Walled Off Hotel, the artist Banksy’s vision of a hotel along the wall Israel built in the occupied West Bank.
The project blends Banksy’s trademark style — a trickster’s eye for trompe l’oeil and a political cartoonist’s ear for satire — into more traditional hotel amenities such as food, drinks and well-appointed rooms. The hotel will begin taking reservations on March 11.
Just don’t call it the Waldorf. For a hint of what awaits visitors to the small hotel in Bethlehem, consider this description of the piano bar inside:
The Walled Off Hotel, which offers what it calls the “worst view in the world,” has rooms that look onto an Israeli security barrier in the West Bank city of Bethlehem.
“Guests can peruse a collection of Banksy artworks that include vandalized oil paintings and statues choking on tear gas fumes. Warm scones and freshly brewed tea are served daily on fine bone china and the Walled Off Salad should not be missed.”
That’s from Banksy’s website, which adds that the engagement is open-ended: “We’re aiming to be here for the whole of the centenary year, maybe longer if people come.”
The piano bar is a nod to Britain’s history in the area: Banksy timed the hotel’s opening to coincide with the centennial of the U.K.’s declaration of its support for creating “in Palestine a national home for the Jewish people,” as the famous Balfour Declaration stated in 1917.