This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Banksy — the famed graffiti artist and political activist known for painting murals around the world — has unveiled a new art installation and it’s not just a scandalous image in London, New York or LA. This time, the artist, whose identity remains a mystery, has opened a hotel in the West Bank. Specifically, he’s launched Walled Off Hotel in the town of Bethlehem in the middle of disputed territory.

The fully functioning property was primarily designed and financed by Banksy himself. The hotel name comes from its surroundings — it’s adjacent to a 30-foot wall that separates Israel and Palestinian territory. Over the years, Banksy has decorated the wall with murals depicting protestors throwing a bouquet of flowers and a peace dove wearing a bullet proof vest with a target on its chest.

A Banksy mural in the West Bank. Photo courtesy of David Silverman/Getty Images.

All nine rooms at The Walled Off Hotel have views of the massive concrete barrier, which inspired the media-friendly mock feature “Worst View In the World.”

The entrance to The Walled Off Hotel, only feet away from the wall. Photo courtesy of Issam Rimawi/Getty Images.

Seven of the rooms were decorated with unique artwork by Banksy, while two were reserved for other artists, including Dominique Pétrin and Sami Musa. Construction of the property took 14 months to complete and the entire project was shrouded in secrecy.

Art inside one of the hotel rooms. Photo courtesy of Issam Rimawi/Getty Images.

Accommodations range from basic to opulent. The ‘Presidential’ room provides you 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.”

Inside the Presidential room complete with hot tub and bar. Photo courtesy of Thomas Coex/Getty Images.

If you’re on a tight budget, you can stay in a dorm-style room for $30 per night that’s outfitted with surplus items from Israeli military barracks.

The hotel gym was replaced with a museum exploring the history of the separation barrier and Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Guests can relax at the 1917-themed hotel piano bar and admire the variety of Banksy pieces including everything from a cherub on life support to statues choking on tear gas fumes. Soon, an independent art gallery will open with rotating works from notable Palestinian and Israeli artists.

An art installation in the hotel’s piano bar. Photo by Issam Rimawi/Getty Images.

According to CNN, The Walled Off Hotel is located in Area C, an area of the West Bank under Israeli control. It’s open to both Israelis and Palestinians and hopes to be a “safe space for discussion.” The hotel does not take any sides in the conflict but acknowledges that both have concerns.

The hotel’s website says “Depending on who you talk to it’s either a vital security measure or an instrument of apartheid. Its route is highly controversial and it has a dramatic impact on the daily lives of a lot of people. The one thing beyond dispute is that everything here is under dispute.”

Elton John provided entertainment for the hotel’s opening party via livestream from a different location, and the hotel’s website says legendary DJ Fat Boy Slim will play a street party on March 13. Each night an automated piano plays an exclusive recital, currently featuring Massive Attack. Trent Reznor from Nine Inch Nails and Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers are said to be creating material for future hotel recitals.

The property will open for bookings on March 11 and is independently owned and operated by locals — so you won’t be redeeming points here any time soon.


Featured image of Banksy’s Room courtesy of Getty Images.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

The American Express Platinum card has some of the best perks out there: cardholders enjoy the best domestic lounge access (Delta SkyClubs, Centurion Lounges, and Priority Pass), a $200 annual airline fee credit as well as up to $200 in Uber credits, and mid-tier elite status at SPG, Marriott, and Hilton. Combined with the 60,000 point welcome offer -- worth $1,140 based on TPG's valuations -- this card is a no-brainer for frequent travelers. Here are 5 reasons you should consider this card, as well as how you can figure out if the $550 annual fee makes sense for you.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on
  • Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
Recommended Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.