The 28-room The Silo was one of the most anticipated hotel openings in South Africa, let alone world-wide, before it welcomed its first guests in March 2017. By the awards it has collected and gushing comments from guests, it has obviously met if not exceeded the expectations of both the media and travelers lucky enough to spend some time here.
In the two years since the glamorous The Silo Hotel Cape Town has been open, it has been scooping up both design and hospitality accolades left and right such as the Condé Nast Traveler, Readers’ Choice Awards 2018: #10 Top Hotels in Africa, Condé Nast Traveler Hot List: Best New Hotels in the World 2018, and Travel+Leisure IT List 2018. That’s just a few from a very long list.
I have been wanting to check out this luxury boutique hotel since it opened and was thrilled to have the opportunity to visit and take a personal tour of the rooms during my visit to Cape Town, South Africa this March, and still have time for a cocktail on the rooftop afterwards. I am not sure what impressed me more: the unique art collection along with the brilliant jewel-tone color scheme and rich textures throughout the hotel or the latticed pillow-like windows showcasing drop-dead views. Combined, they truly make this ultra-luxe boutique hotel one of a kind.
The Silo Hotel Cape Town AT A GLANCE
The Silo Hotel is named after its heritage, a former 187-foot concrete grain silo erected in 1921 in the industrial, gritty area of the Victoria & Albert Waterfront. I never would have conceived this structure as a possible hotel but under the reins of British architect, Thomas Heatherwick (of London’s Heatherwick Studio), who reimagined the the building as a modern and industrial space, it works magnificently. If his name not familiar to you yet, look no further than The Vessel in Hudson Yards!
Only a few minutes walk away from the waterfront malls and pedestrian shops of the Victoria and Albert waterfront, adjacent to the ship yards, The Silo Hotel Cape Town shares its home with the incredible Zeitz Museum of Contemporary African Art (MOCAAA). The museum, which holds the largest collection of contemporary African Art in the world, is located in the grain elevator portion of the building, from the lobby to the 5th floor. The Silo occupies the upper floors 6-10, with the lobby and public gathering spaces on the 6th floor, the 28 guest rooms on floors 7-10 and a guest-only pool and bar on the open-air rooftop.
The Silo Hotel is very much a family-managed hotel. In addition to the Silo, the Biden Family (not the American Bidens mind you, this is the South African Bidens) also own other South African luxury hotel properties that make up the Royal Portfolio Collection: Royal Malewane, a luxury safari lodge located in Kruger Park, La Residence in the winelands town of Franschhoek, and Birkenhead House on the coastal cliffs of Hermanus.
Guests access the hotel through a separate entrance than the Zeitz art gallery. The petite reception space sets the tone of what’s to come with the fantastic colorful art and design. From this intimate reception, a private elevator whisks you to the 6th floor where your experience begins.
The entire 6th floor consists of the main public gathering spaces: the reception and concierge, Willaston Bar, Granary Cafe and the Library Bar, all with floor-to-ceiling pillowed windows (each section is 56 hand-crafted panes of glass) to take in the stellar views. The Willaston bar, was my favorite of the spaces with its electric teal curved velvet banquettes and brilliant bar. This is a place to see and be seen. If you want to impress someone (a colleague or a date, it doesn’t matter), come here. Maybe purchase a few curated items while you are at it, too.
The adjoining Granary Café and Library Bar (on the Mezzanine level) are more intimate spaces ideal for afternoon tea or quiet.
Located on the 11th roof top is the guest-only pool and outdoor bar/café with 360 degree views of Table Mountain, Lion’s Head, the Atlantic Ocean, and the city skyline. You need to be a guest or invited by a guest to come here. Unlike the rest of the hotel, the roof top is a simpler space void of color and pomp. It’s all about the unparalleled views here, which we thoroughly enjoyed for cocktails!
There are 28 accommodations in seven different categories at The Silo Hotel Cape Town, some which occupy half the floor. Liz Biden, who is personally responsible for the interiors here as well as all the Royal Portfolio properties, uses an incredible combination of fantastic colors, textures and luxurious materials in each and every room. Her genius reminds me of two other family female hoteliers who oversee the designs of their hotels – Kit Kemp of the Firmdale Group (Ham Yard Hotels, Crosby Street Hotel and others in London and New York) and of the Olga Polizzi of Rocco Forte Group (Hotel de Russie, Browns, Balmoral and others throughout Europe and Asia).
No room is exactly alike, many with their own color schemes and featuring art pieces from the Biden’s personal art collection. One room may be an explosion of yellow while another is a vibrant green. I can’t recall saying ‘Wow’ enough each time I opened another door to another room. I loved the mix of contemporary art and various periods of furniture, whether it be art deco, colonial or modern.
Undisputedly, the highlight of every room is the bathroom with the stand alone deep-soaking tub, opulent chandeliers, and uninterrupted floor to ceiling views of the harbor (fun fact: The Silo Hotel is the tallest building in the V&A Waterfront). Want some privacy? Just push a button to close the blinds. Hard to do though when you have these views.
Family suites at The Silo Hotel are located in the corners of the hotel in 2 bedroom duplexes. One of the most requested rooms is the yellow room (Room #806).
My favorite room at The Silo Hotel? The Royal Suites located on the 9th and 10th floors (905/906 combination have amazing views) at 1,420 square feet, and the Penthouse on the 10th floor. A girl can dream…
THE BOTTOM LINE
The Silo Hotel is like living in a bubble. A fabulous, techno-color one that you would be very happy never to leave. It truly stands out among the other luxury hotel options in Cape Town as a destination hotel appealing to those who appreciate sophisticated architecture and design.
INVIATO PERKS AT THE SILO
Inviato is an independent affiliate of Classic Travel, a Virtuoso-member luxury boutique agency. As a Virtuoso member, Inviato is proud to provide special rates, privileges and amenities along with personalized, VIP care to travelers at this and other luxury properties. See below for specific amenities at The Silo, check availability and book this hotel.
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Your Virtuoso Rate At The Silo Includes:
• Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
• Complimentary A La Carte Breakfast for two daily
• A complimentary 50-minute massage for up to two people, per room
• Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability
• Complimentary Wi-Fi
Contact [email protected]el.com to check availability and rates.Book This Hotel
Why book Virtuoso?
- Personalized travel assistance
- 24/7 online booking
- Special rates & exclusive offers
- Guaranteed Room upgrade*
- Complimentary full American breakfast
- Early check-in, Late check-out*
- Exclusive on-site amenities (varies by hotel)
- * based on availability on time of arrival