Like the iconic V&A Waterfront in which it stands, this brutalist, ex-grain storage building was given a whole new lease of life when it was converted into an awe-inspiring hub for hospitality, art and design that is home to The Silo Hotel.
While this new complex is an evocative reminder of the area’s past as an industrial centre and port, it is also a beacon for a Cape Town of the future. It houses the city’s renowned museum for Contemporary African Art, the Zeitz MOCAA; and on its upper floors, what hotel-lovers the world over are calling the city’s most emblematic design property, The Silo.
Architect Thomas Heatherwick was commissioned to transform the elevator house and the adjacent storage annexe of silos into a one-of-a-kind urban hotel with panoramic views from its triple-height, multi-faceted windows (worthy of a feature in a design magazine themselves) across Cape Town’s bustling Central Business District (CBD).
The Zeitz and The Silo are two separate entities; however, the Silo’s proprietors, the family-owned The Royal Portfolio, have taken it upon themselves to create a continuity between the two, by integrating works by many of the same artists featured in the galleries below into the hotel. They even employ their own art expert who walked us through the hotel’s collection and offers personalised guided tours of the Zeitz MOCAA’s impressive exhibitions.
Right on time
While you’re Out There
The views of the inside and outside of the building that houses The Silo and Zeitz MOCAA are stunning, but there is one other experience close by that may possibly beat it. Just on the other side of the V&A Waterfront, you’ll find the heliports of NAC Helicopters, who offer spellbinding helicopter trips with scenic views of South Africa from way up high above the Mother City. From the window of our suite, we could see them taking off and landing all day and night, which proved just too tempting for us not to try it for ourselves.
Art aside, the hotel has plenty to offer. We especially enjoyed the exclusive guest-only area on the building’s rooftop overlooking the pool and bar where we watched the impressive Cape Town sunset, while sipping on cocktails.
The hotel clearly took the decision to favour luxury over capacity with just 28 rooms and suites on the inventory, and even the least expensive rooms are still generously proportioned. Their popular Deluxe Superior Suite is fantastic value for money and would impress even the most spoilt of hotel aficionados.
We were lucky enough to stay in the Royal Suite at The Silo Hotel, a large two-bedroom, two-bathroom Hollywood film-set of a suite which took up a third of the 10th floor. The other two-thirds were reserved for the penthouse, which amongst other decadent delights houses its own private cinema. However, the views of the city from one of our two baths were entertainment enough for us.