Where to Stay in Cape Town
Whenever I am planning my travel, I spend a lot of time working out where to stay. In some cases, that can mean many hotels, over a long period of time. So it can be a lot of work to plan it all out. But in some cases, the ‘right’ hotel is quite clear, and immediately obvious. The Silo Hotel in Cape Town, South Africa, was one of those hotels. I may even be bold enough to say that this hotel is one of the best hotels I have ever stayed in.
OK, here is some background first. The Silo Hotel is part of a group of hotels called The Royal Portfolio. This is a collection of 4 hotels and some private residences. It is privately owned by a South African family, and focuses on the luxury end of the market. Their first three hotels were originally holiday homes, adapted into boutique residences. The Silo was different though, because it was originally a grain elevator, not a home. Working with the British industrial designer Thomas Heatherwick, it was repurposed into one of the most unique hotels in the world.
View of the room from the bedroom, in a Silo Hotel suite.
From Grain Silo to Luxury Hotel
The original structure, opened in 1924, was once the tallest building in sub-saharan Africa. Standing about 16 stories high, it’s dwarfed by many taller buildings now, but none that can claim such incredible redesign as this one. The current iteration of the structure has two tenants now — the Silo Hotel, and the Zeitz MOCAA art museum. The museum is housed in the lower 5 floors, and the 28-room hotel on 6 stories above it. The top 6 floors are very high-ceilinged floors, making the hotel rooms within very spacious.
Each of the 28 rooms are designed slightly differently, with personal touches applied by the owner Liz Biden. There are one bedrooms, suites, and family suites, each with original art pieces by African artists. And probably what makes the hotel stand out the most are the ‘pillowed’ windows that run floor to ceiling in every room.
The spacious main room of a suite in the Silo Hotel, Cape Town.
A look at the huge ‘pillowed’ windows, seen in most rooms at the Silo Hotel, Cape Town.
Looking Out and Looking In
The hotel has 2 restaurants and a couple bars, including one on the rooftop with 360 degree views of Cape Town and the waterfront. Many rooms look directly at Table Mountain, one of Cape Town’s most recognizable features. Other rooms face the very popular V&A Waterfront development and the Atlantic Ocean.
Complimenting the stunning design and views is the world-class service. Without exception, guests are made to feel like family, right from the first arrival to the final farewell.
When we arrived, we were addressed by name, and brought into the hotel like we were old friends. Everyone that we interacted with was exceptional, from the hotel GM Luis Pinheiro, plus our hostess Irene BoaVentura, to every person in the restaurants and front desk. Whenever we were greeted, it was always by name, like they’ve always known us.
A bathtub with a view, in the Silo Hotel, Cape Town.
A well-appointed bathroom with high ceilings and huge windows.
Although our stay here was short, it was truly memorable. The room was very large, and very comfortable. The food was perfect in every case. The service was personal and sincere. If only all hotels operate the same way as The Silo does. But then, how else would we recognize the best, if we didn’t have something to compare it to? And The Silo is the best.
The Silo Hotel rooftop pool at sunset, with sweeping views of Cape Town.
The inviting cool pool at the Silo Hotel, in Cape Town.