Cape Town’s most beautiful hotel: The Silo

With its omnipresent mountain, sparkling harbour, and ruggedly beautiful Atlantic coastline, Cape Town is one of the most beautiful cities in the world and visitors can now experience its many delights from one of the most beautiful hotels in the world, The Silo.

A stunning 28-bedroom boutique beauty perched atop Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA), Africa’s first contemporary African art museum, The Silo Hotel is an opulent celebration of art, architecture, sustainability and style.

The Silo Hotel Bathroom | Image: The Silo – Royal Portfolio

Located in the Silo District of the V&A Waterfront, The Silo Hotel is minutes from some of the city’s best dining and shopping and ideally situated to explore Cape Town’s most popular attractions, that is if you can bear to tear yourself away from the bosom of this enchanting destination hotel.

Rising phoenix-like from the remains of a derelict grain silo complex, an astonishing makeover by celebrated British designer Thomas Heatherwick has turned Cape Town’s ugliest duckling into an elegant swan. It’s upcycling to the extreme, with the vertical silo tubes refashioned into a stunning gallery space, and the grain elevator portion ingeniously transformed to house the sexy six-storey hotel. 

Deluxe Superior Bedroom | Image: The Silo – Royal Portfolio

Inside the hotel is a visual feast. The building’s industrial heritage remains an integral part of its appeal, with bare concrete walls and original steel beams and gussets framing rooms. A fanciful mix of furniture and artworks, along with an inspired use of colour and fabric, all curated by owner Liz Biden, add a hefty splash of colour and warmth.  

The sixth-floor reception space is a psychedelic explosion of old-world chesterfields, Egyptian-crystal chandeliers, Persian rugs offset with vivid modern canvases and African collectibles. However, it is the hotel’s signature pillowed floor-to-ceiling, diamond-panelled windows that cleverly invite panoramic views of Table Mountain and Table Bay Harbour in, that elevate the lobby to the extraordinary.

Penthouse Lounge View | Image: The Silo – Royal Portfolio

The pillow-like windows are also a feature of our two-bedroom, two-storey family suite, offering extraordinary views out over Table Mountain and Signal Hill from every room. Our suite pops in razzle-dazzle shades of red and orange. Industrial beams peek into the lounge, media room and private dining areas, which are filled with fat sofas, inviting armchairs and dramatic chandeliers.  Under the stairs is a stunning mirrored cabinet secreting pretty porcelain teacups, a selection of coffee and tea, plus fresh lime and ginger to add a hint of zest. There’s also complimentary mini-bar, and elaborate boxes of house-made savoury and sweet snacks.

Upstairs are the bedrooms, each offering more of those floor-to-ceiling views of the mountains and the city, cloudlike beds, a ravishingly red-walled dressing room replete with cosy robes and slippers, and two cavernous bathrooms, the main boasting a free-standing tub, sassy leopard print chaise and views for days. 

Art and about

But it is the 128-square-metre suite’s proliferation of edgy artworks, accompanied by a curated art guide for us to familiarise ourselves with the pieces on display and their talented creators, that turn the space in to a liveable luxury gallery. 

The Silo’s pool is, quite literally, its crowning glory. One of the world’s most beautiful rooftop pools, its towering concrete columns lend an industrial meets Grecian vibe, while see-through glass walls and dazzling 360-degree views over gorgeous Cape Town complete the perfect picture. 

The Silo Hotel Rooftop Pool | Image: Aleney de Winter

The Silo Spa, located on the fourth floor, is a tranquil space with five treatment rooms including a couple’s option, offering a delightful menu of signature therapies and treatments using luxurious Black Pearl and Ling skincare products. There’s also a dedicated manicure and pedicure area, plus a gym and sauna. 

For those who prefer to relax with a book there’s a small library, while art lovers might like the hotel’s small private gallery and tailored art tours showcasing Africa’s art scene.

Dining at The Silo

Gastronomic indulgence is a big part of The Silo experience. Room service is available and The Granary Café is the hotel’s main restaurant, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as a decadent afternoon tea. With a focus on showcasing the best seasonal, local ingredients, menus are packed with contemporary classics like steak tartare and salmon ceviche salad, although I can’t go past a spicy Cape Seafood Curry, fragrant with coconut and lemongrass rice and served with green tea-infused cucumber and a refreshing lemon yoghurt. 

But it is the Granary Café breakfast that is culinary utopia. Along with an extensive a la carte breakfast menu packed with perfectly executed dishes like egg white soufflé omelette and smoked salmon and hollandaise stacked brioche, is their Harvest table: a tower stacked with local charcuterie meats and cheeses, jars of fresh fruit and berries, creamy potted yoghurt and nutty granola, plus a basket of perfect pastries.

Open only to hotel guests, The Silo Rooftop offers guests a more relaxed, al fresco experience with a tempura bar, fresh oysters, and light snacks from the raw bar, served with a side of panoramic Cape Town views alongside that pool.

Guests not encumbered with small children might also consider stopping for carefully crafted cocktails and an ever-evolving selection of fine wines, along with classic bar snacks and small plates, in the swanky, sapphire and emerald-hued Willaston Bar on the hotel’s reception level. 

The Willaston Bar | Image: The Silo – Royal Portfolio

Find out more: theroyalportfolio.com/the-silo

Feature Image: Royal Suite Bedroom | The Silo – Royal Portfolio

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