The grain silos and adjoining lift were once the tallest buildings in Africa apart from the Pyramids at Giza. Although no longer so, the price point of The Silo Hotel may still well be as the hotel positions itself as Cape Town’s most desired bed.
The Royal Portfolio (there’s a hint in the name) has provided the very best in hospitality for the select few and, until now, the limited number of rooms and northwards rack rate in their bespoke properties, has placed the collection out of reach for most of us.
This has now changed. The Silo Hotel, in the grain elevator section of the newly completed Silo complex at Cape Town’s waterfront which houses the Zeitz MOCAA, Africa’s answer to Museum of Modern Art, is open to walk-ins for meals. And a place at the Silo Roof-Top bar is the hottest ticket in the city.
That said, there are areas of the hotel reserved for the exclusive use of residential guests. These include the Sky Terrace and its 360 views of Table Mountain and the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront and docks along with the small glass, heated pool that looks down over the harbour.
Accommodations are majestically appointed and decorated by owner Liz Biden who has a curator’s eye when it comes to combining colours and textures and a collector’s savvy when it comes to finding special pieces.
Every room in the Royal Portfolio collection is a work of art: the white denim covered couches of Birkenhead House and Villa on the cliffs of Hermanus, for example, which, with gilded armoires and oversized tables, create the ultimate beach villa. Or, the combination of rare oriental carpets with French country furniture in Royal Malewane’s Big Five bush camp or the vast chandelier and Venetian mirrors at Franschhoek’s La Residence’s uber barn; all make for a memorable and much talked about stay.
At The Silo Hotel, the structure along with the Zeitz MOCAA architected by the London based Heatherwick Studio provides the scale: massively high volumes with cranial cracking perspectives. Biden has provided the texture.
Our Executive Suite 604, one of just 28 keys, is on two levels with the desk, dining table and sitting room as you enter the suite while the bedroom, double-volume balcony and bathroom are on the lower level. The suite can also connect to an adjacent one to create a family unit.
Biden has a special passion for memorable bathrooms and most bathrooms in her hotels feature stand-alone tubs and vast chandeliers. There are 80 Egyptian-made crystal chandeliers throughout The Silo. Built as sustainably as possible with special consideration to managing the light and internal temperature on account of the nearly all-glass facade which suggests the panes of a lantern. The Silo, like many other Cape Town hotels trying to beat the drought, asks guests not to use the bath and opt for shorter showers instead. This is in addition to water-wise plumbing and fixtures.
Tickets to the Zeitz MOCAA are included in the room rate along with a sumptuous breakfast, the contents of the mini-bar fridge and the privilege of staying where only a few can. There is value in the way the generous complement of staff, outfitted in jeans and jackets, are attuned to requests and desires you don’t yet know you have and the great lengths that the team goes to source the best local decor and ingredients. Coffee, for example, is from the city’s renowned Truth artisan roasters.
The bags in the in-room snack collection by Lardiere are not plastic at all but completely compostable and ready to biodegrade within 100 days. And, the vibrant crockery in the rooms is commissioned by local artisans.
You will be hard-pressed to find another hotel experience that will leave you on such a high.
Tell Me More About The Silo Hotel, Cape Town
The Silo Hotel, Silo Square, V&A Waterfront
8001 Cape Town, South Africa.
Tel: +27 (0) 21 670 0500
Rooms from £795.