Is this a joke?
Nope - it's a genuine art hotel with fully functioning ensuite facilities.
Is it safe?
Yes. The hotel is located in a bustling area fully open to tourists from across the world. It has all the restaurants, bars and taxis you'd expect. We're 500 metres from the checkpoint to Jerusalem and a mile from the centre of Bethlehem. The official British Foreign Office advice declares it an entirely safe place to visit - and like any holiday you should check the FCO website or equivalent before travelling.
What about Covid-19 restrictions?
We're not an approved quarantine hotel so it's best to have a negative PCR result before you arrive. Make sure you check the most up to date travel advice before booking. You can find the information you need here.
Do I need a VISA?
Most international travellers don't need a visa to enter Israel as a tourist and you can stay for up to 3 months. Non-Palestinian visitors entering via Tel Aviv airport are given an entry card in their passport. So, unlike the majority of Palestinians, you'll be permitted to travel wherever you wish.
Airport security at Tel Aviv, however, is legendary. Expect to be asked about the purpose of your stay and if you intend travelling to the West Bank. If you answer 'yes' you may be held up for some time. A new Israeli law implemented recently also bans supporters of the Palestinian BDS movement (a political boycott of Israeli products) from entering the country. Consequently many visitors choose not to highlight particular parts of their holiday and stick to politely discussing the weather.
How long will it be open for?
We're aiming to be here for the whole of the centenary year, maybe longer if people come.
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.
Is it anti-Semitic?
Definitely not. The Walled Off Hotel is an entirely independent leisure facility set up and financed by Banksy. It is not aligned to any political movement or pressure group. Our Palestinian management and staff offer an especially warm welcome to young Israelis who come with an open heart.
Are you just making a profit from other people's misery?
The hotel is now an independent local business. The aim is to break even and put any profits back into local projects.
Jerusalem - 'the most important town in America'
Each year tens of thousands of tourists descend on Jerusalem to walk in the footsteps of the prophets - and a handful come away thinking they are the prophets. Jerusalem Syndrome is a medically recognised ailment that occurs when visitors become overwhelmed by the metaphysical significance of the Holy City and reach the conclusion that they are biblical characters or the Apocalypse is drawing near. Doctors estimate the syndrome affects between 50 and 200 people per year, and although many have a recorded history of mental health issues, about a quarter of recorded cases have no previous psychiatric record.
Why open a hotel there? What's wrong with Shoreditch?
This place is the centre of the universe - every time God comes to earth it seems to happen near here. The architecture and landscape are stunning, the food delicious and the current situation remarkable and touching. This is a place of immense spiritual and political significance - and very good falafel. We guarantee you won't be disappointed. *
* not actually legally enforceable
Can I visit the hotel if I'm not staying there?
The museum and art gallery are open to non-residents every day from 11am - 7:30pm. The piano bar is open every day to non-residents, serving food and drink from 11am - 10pm. Coach parties are by appointment.
Is there a swimming pool on the roof?
No. Our proximity to the wall means nobody is permitted to go on the roof without prior permission from the Israeli military. You should exercise common sense when staying with us. Aggressive drunkenness or loud public nudity is not encouraged. Under no circumstances should you shine laser pens at the army watchtowers.
The hotel is affiliated with all the relevant local authorities, panic protected and installed with CCTV and alarms throughout. Access to the bedrooms is secure and restricted to guests only. The hotel is locked from 11pm each night and there is a member of staff on site 24 hours a day.
The hotel contains valuable works of art, some of which you are permitted to lock yourself alone with overnight. As a consequence, a $1000 deposit will be taken on a credit / debit card at check in*. All rooms will be inspected prior to departure, so please allow at least 15 minutes for check-out. The artwork here has been donated to the community and their struggle & any person found attempting to steal from them, or deface hotel property, will be arrested, transported to the police station in Ramallah and prosecuted to the full extent of local law.
* excluding the budget bunk beds
So, what is the wall exactly?
The wall is a military structure over 700km long built by the Israeli government. It encloses occupied Palestine and annexes parts of its land. 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.
Painting the wall - Is it legal?
It's not 'not' legal. The wall itself remains illegal under international law.
Is it ethical?
Some people don't agree with painting the wall and argue anything that trivialises or normalises its existence is a mistake. Then again, others welcome any attention brought to it and the ongoing situation. So in essence - you can paint it, but avoid anything normal or trivial.
Are there any day trips you recommend?
We recommend two excellent tours that should definitely form part of your stay with us, see the bookings page. And there are a host of other excursions nearby including the Dead Sea, Hebron and Jericho. Hotel staff will be happy to assist you. For some ideas see the visitors book on the homepage.
The piano bar and museum are wheelchair accessible, the rest of the hotel is a work in progress.