Behind The Silo, Africa’s Highly Anticipated Hotel in Cape Town

Rooftop Pool
Rooftop Pool | Courtesy The Royal Portfolio

Freelance Writer -

One of Africa’s most anticipated hotels has opened its doors to the public. The spectacular Silo in Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront precinct is one of the world’s most lavish establishments.

Rooftop Sky Terrace

Living up to the hype

The Silo was making headlines even before the developers broke ground. The hype focused around the dream team behind the project, the dramatic location, and the fascinating repurposing of a heritage building long since abandoned. British architect Thomas Heatherwick teamed up with hotelier Liz Biden to transform a disused grain silo in one of the Waterfront’s most underused locations.

The entrance to The Silo is grand but undeniably industrial

Industrial surroundings

Ironically, the hotel is located in the least touristic part of the harbour. What was previously an overflow parking lot – wedged between dry docks, office blocks and the industrial workings of the harbour – has been totally transformed. Now called the Silo District, the area features the hotel, soon to open Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, a flagship Virgin Active gym, and several boutiques and restaurants. The main areas of the V&A Waterfront are also just a short walk away.

The Silo Exterior

No expenses spared

The first step in the redevelopment of this section of the Waterfront has been with The Silo. The Royal Portfolio, who own this and four other exclusive properties in South Africa, have spared no expense with their latest development. The moment you leave the gritty surrounds of the harbour at ground level it becomes obvious that this is no ordinary hotel.

Extraordinary eye-catching artwork, furniture and fittings populate the entrance hall, and when the elevator doors open six floors up the views through the domed glass windows stop most in their tracks. These large custom-made windows reveal extraordinary views of Table Mountain, Signal Hill, the V&A Waterfront, and Robben Island. All rooms have unique vantage points, but the true spectacle awaits on the rooftop level.

There, both guests and day visitors with prior reservations can soak up 360 degree views from The Silo Rooftop — a relaxed restaurant serving the likes of oysters, tempura, pulled pork sandwiches, and various snacks from a health bar. Guests also have access to a rooftop pool that floats precariously close to the edge of the grand building.

Rooftop Pool

Meticulously designed opulent rooms

Designer and owner Liz Biden has individually decorated The Silo’s 28 rooms. Each has a unique layout owing to the unusual shape of the building, and Biden has designed the rooms to have their own style and flair.

There are six categories of rooms, plus the lavish penthouse, that cater to different needs. The smallest are still an impressive 41 square metres, increasing generously in size all the way up to the 211 square metre penthouse facing Table Mountain.

The penthouse offers a single room with grandiose bathroom, balcony, lounge area, study with writing desk, and vertigo-inducing triple aspect views.

Penthouse Suite lounge

Most expensive hotel in Africa?

Unlike many hotels in the world, The Silo is transparent about its rates, and they are unsurprisingly steep. High season rooms start at approximately $1,400 per night, up to $8,500 for the penthouse. Festive season rates are even higher. Though this places the hotel comfortably among the most expensive in Africa, if not the world, it also positions it firmly in the list of the world’s most revered accommodation options. And given the sheer beauty, unique location and unparalleled attention to detail at The Silo, there’s no doubt that it will deliver a remarkable experience for its guests.

Rooftop dining at The Silo
culture trip left arrow
 culture trip brand logo

Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip

meet our Local Insider


women sitting on iceberg


2 years.


It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.


I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!

culture trip logo letter c
group posing for picture on iceberg
group posing for picture on iceberg

Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.

map of volcanic iceland trip destination points
culture trip brand logo
culture trip right arrow
landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.