The Walled Off hotel, British artist Banksy’s new hotel in Bethlehem which the owner claims has ‘the worst view in the world’ is still considerably more pleasant than most Travelodges, particularly the one at Chelmsford.
The hotel has ten rooms that look out onto the wall that divides Israel with Palestine and each get just twenty minutes of sunlight a day.
It exists to provoke dialogue in this most divided of areas. The Travelodge in Chelmsford overlooks a flyover and exists despite all logic and reason.
The Walled Off hotel was designed to create the air of a colonial dystopia, whereas the Travelodge in Chelmsford was designed to create an air of post-wank self-loathing.
The elevator in the Walled Off hotel is deliberately out of service with the doors jammed half open to show breezeblocks. It illustrates the broken nature of life in the West Bank. The elevators in the Travelodge are broken because nobody can be bothered to fix them.
“To be honest, I had thought of just setting up a Travelodge in Bethlehem, possibly based on the one in Chelmsford. It would have perfectly created that end-of-the-world nightmare feeling I was aiming for,” said Banksy, in a statement
“But then I thought ‘No, these people have suffered enough’.”