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Tourism: South African Hotel where a suite can cost more than $10,000

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The Silo boutique hotel in Cape Town has been named the No. 1 city hotel in Africa by Travel + Leisure and is arguably one of the most expensive luxury brands in the hospitality industry.

Travel + Leisure also named The Silo Hotel No. 57 on its larger list of the 100 best hotels in the world.

According to insider.com, the hotel opened in March 2017 at Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront, a popular tourist destination with attractions as well as several high-end hotels and restaurants all situated along the marina.

The Waterfront is the most visited destination in South Africa and sees around 24 million visitors every year, according to the country’s tourism board.

The boutique hotel features just 28 suites, each uniquely decorated with chandeliers and sitting areas.

The hotel was developed by The Royal Portfolio hotel group and shares its building with the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa. While the museum is located in what used to be grain silos, the hotel was built in the former elevator tower.

The grain silo was functional from 1924 through 2001 and played an important role in South Africa’s involvement in international trade, according to The Royal Portfolio.

The main design feature of each suite is the 18-foot-tall pillowing window structure that allows guests to immerse themselves in the views.

Heatherwick Studio, the company chosen to lead the $40 million architectural redesign of the abandoned grain silo, implemented the high ceilings as a way to hold on to the structure’s identity.

Family and Superior suites both have two floors, which cuts the windows in half.

The two-floor suites occupy the same amount of vertical space as the single-floor suites, it’s just split into two.

Suites range in price from R13,500 ($805.65) per night for the most basic Silo Room to R77,000 ($4595.19) per night for the penthouse — during peak season the penthouse can cost more than $10,000.

(Conversions were done at the time of writing and prices change seasonally, according to the hotel).

The penthouse is vast and features more than just a bed and a sitting area.

Walking around the penthouse suite, guests will find a 10-person dining table — guests can pay for private dining there if they’d like — a private movie theatre, an office, and an in-room spa table.

Along with spa-quality bathrooms in every suite, there is both a full-service spa and a gym in the lower levels of the hotel.
In-suite bathrooms feature soaking tubs, plush lounge chairs, spa products like bubble bath liquid and salts, a stand-up shower, and heated towel racks.

Travel + Leisure called it “one of the most enviable hotel bathtub setups in the southern hemisphere.”

The spa includes five treatment rooms, an area dedicated to manicures and pedicures, and a sauna.

The gym area consists of free weights, and machines like treadmills and ellipticals. Windows in the gym face Table Mountain.

Liz Biden, co-founder of The Royal Portfolio, has decorated all rooms and common spaces throughout the hotel.

From the fabrics chosen to the paintings on the walls, each space feels bright and enriched with an appreciation for African art, a hotel staff member told Insider during our 2019 visit.

Biden has filled the hotel with things picked up from her travels around the world, as well as a rotating selection of contemporary art by African artists, according to The Royal Portfolio.

Similar to the Zeitz MOCAA, the hotel lobby showcases contemporary African art.

While the museum remains a separate entity from the hotel, guests can appreciate the same type of art featured from inside their rooms, the lobbies, and the common spaces throughout the hotel.

There is also a private gallery in the parking-level of the hotel called The Vault.

In addition to art, each suite is equipped with a not-so-mini bar stocked with complimentary alcohol, soda, snacks, and fix-ins for tea and coffee.

The bar is stocked with local wines, which are complimentary. And during Insider’s visit, there was fresh ginger root and lime ready for slicing to put into tea and cocktails.

Bottles of hard liquor were the only things that cost extra during our visit.

Guests are also greeted by a complimentary bottle of sparkling wine and a bowl of fruit in their suites upon arrival.

All guests have access to the pool on the hotel’s rooftop.

The view itself was voted among the best in the world by Departures.

Half the rooftop lounge is closed off for guests only while the other half acts as a rooftop bar for anyone who wants to have a cocktail and watch the sunset.

The guest section is outfitted with lounge-like seating, pictured above, while the visitor’s section has tables and chairs.

The rooftop bar offers an extensive wine list, specialty cocktails, and snacks including the classic South African snack of biltong and droëwors, which are two types of dried meat.

At 11 stories off the ground, the rooftop showcases a 360-degree view featuring Cape Town’s beautiful mountains, city, and the Atlantic ocean.

Guests can also choose to dine at any of the three eateries inside the hotel.

Non-guests must make a reservation for The Silo Rooftop in advance.

At the jewel-toned lounge dubbed The Willaston Bar, guests can order early morning coffee, mid-day drinks, or they can sit for dinner. Guests can also have a “morning tea” experience, which features “a selection of sweet treats, scones, the cake of the day, savory snacks, teas, and coffees.” The Willaston Bar does not take reservations.

The main restaurant is called Granary Café. Executive Chef Veronica Canha-Hibbert constructs the menu around local, seasonal ingredients, according to The Royal Portfolio. Guests can have complimentary continental breakfast here, or they can choose to order off the menu — having both in one sitting is also an option.

A “royal tea” experience is offered at Granary Café and includes the “pastry chef’s selection of petit gateaux and exquisite teatime treats as well as a selection of savory delights,” according to The Royal Portfolio. A reservation is required 24 hours in advance.

The library is a common space that overlooks The Willaston Bar.

Guests can sit in the library with a morning coffee or a cocktail. It’s built jutting out over the eatery and has a view of Table Mountain out the windows.

Behind the library are several office spaces that guests can book and a conference room that can also be used for private dining experiences.

The staff at The Silo are known for their positive attitudes and phenomenal service.

While Insider’s visit was in 2019, Travel + Leisure reported that as of early 2020, “it hasn’t lost its shine.”

The report called it a “visual feast” and cited one of its readers’ reviews calling it possibly “our favorite of all time.” The reader continued on to say that the room was “spectacular,” the views “beyond words,” and that the staff and level of service were “the best.”

While travel remains on pause for many people around the world, The Silo remains closed to guests, according to an advisory statement on The Royal Portfolio site. However, travelers can plan their future trips through the hotel group’s bond program.

Source: insider.com

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