My stay at The Silo Hotel earlier this year really struck me because it’s everything a luxury hotel should be: excellent service, unique decor, comfortable beds, world-class facilities, and great food and drinks. It’s one of my favorite hotels in the world.
The Silo Hotel looks out over some of Cape Town’s most picturesque views: the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, Table Bay Harbor, the iconic Table Mountain, the Atlantic Ocean, and magnificent sunsets and sunrises. Located six floors below the hotel is the groundbreaking Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa.
In its first life, from 1924 to 2001, the building was the premier silo used by all of South Africa’s small farmers to deposit their grain for export. The concrete exterior from the original architecture remains, while installed are 104 extraordinary windows: 18 feet high, multi-faceted curved glass with geometric iron frames. During the day, the windows glisten like diamonds; at night, they become a glowing beacon of light.
The “industrial-chic” of the exterior leaves you unprepared for the gorgeous interior. Liz Biden, co-owner, designed every inch of it, creating a wonderland with her impeccable taste. Biden individually designs every space in the hotel and every guest room, and she knows exactly where every piece of decor should go. The bold colors and exotic fabrics are combined fearlessly with the dazzling crystal chandeliers cascading from ceilings with exposed steel beams. The walls feature the art of African artists—all surrounded by the unrivaled views beyond the floor-to-ceiling windows showcasing the breathtaking Cape Town views.
The Silo Hotel has 28 guest rooms. All have a balcony, at least one enormous window with a breathtaking view, and a large bathroom with a rain shower and a freestanding tub under a crystal chandelier.
Expect the usual five-star in-room amenities, including a Nespresso machine and kettle/tea station, then wait for the unexpected—a well-stocked mini-bar that is complimentary, except for the hard liquor.
Here’s a breakdown of the room categories:
The Penthouse – 2,000 square feet with three windows for an astonishing view of Table Mountain and Cape Town. Watch a movie in your private theater and enjoy a massage on your in-room spa table.
2 Royal Suites – 2 bedrooms, 1400 square feet. Windows face the Atlantic Ocean, Robben Island, and the distant mountains.
4 Family Suites – 2 bedrooms | 1200 – 1400 square feet. Some with views of the old harbor and distant mountains, some with views of the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront and Signal Hill. Each suite has a mezzanine level with two bedrooms
7 Deluxe Superior Suites – 650 to 720 square feet, and each with a window that overlooks the many delights of the city of Cape Town.
6 Superior Suites – 820 to 940 square feet. A choice of either mountain or harbor view. Each suite has the bedroom on a mezzanine level.
8 Silo Rooms – 440 square feet, with spectacular harbor views.
The Spa has five treatment rooms where you can relax and receive the finest of therapies and spa techniques provided by highly experienced professionals who custom-design treatments for you and your skin type. Or have a Mani-Pedi. There is also a sauna and a gym.
The Vault is the Silo’s private art gallery on the basement level. Contemporary African art is displayed to showcase (and sell) both established and up-and-coming artists.
The Granary Café
The cafe is an informal dining space with a small raw bar and dishes such as steak frites and confit pork belly. The food is excellent and approachable, made with seasonal local ingredients. The Harvest Table for breakfast is a multi-tiered feast brought to your table: muesli, yogurt, berries and fruit, smoked salmon, and charcuterie and cheeses. The lunch and dinner menu includes creative interpretations of classics as well as the chef’s own creations.
The Willaston Bar
With stunning views of Cape Town, unwind with a classic cocktail or a glass of wine from the carefully crafted list of local and international wines. Choose from a menu of casual meals or snacks on the bar’s offerings.
The Silo Rooftop
An ideal spot for a casual lunch or a “sundowner,” the South African term for a cocktail at sunset. There is a glass-sided pool and a sun terrace for lounging. Drink in the panoramic views while indulging in treats from the tempura bar, fresh oysters, pulled pork sandwiches, and healthy snacks from the raw bar.
The Sky Terrace
The elevated roof is the perfect place to watch an unforgettable pink-and-gold sunset while having champagne or a sundowner. And why not get up early to experience an equally delightful sunrise.
The Silo has been lavished with awards, including:
– Condé Nast Traveler, Readers’ Choice Awards 2018: #10 Top Hotels in Africa
– Condé Nast Traveler Hot List: Best New Hotels in the World 2018
– Jetsetter’s Best Hotel Awards: Best Boutique Hotel in the World 2018
– Virtuoso Travel Awards: Best Achievement in Design 2018
– We Are Africa Award: Design Africa 2017