Redefining the traditional expectations of a hotel dwelling one grain silo, red wall and lime green couch at a time, here are five design cues we’re taking from Cape Town’s five-star Silo Hotel.



Upcycling: ‘to reuse discarded objects or material in such a way as to create a product of higher quality or value than the original’. With the hotel itself being housed in a former grain silo, it’s obvious the husband-and-wife duo behind The Silo Hotel (and hotel group The Royal Portfolio) don’t shy away from upcycling. Originally built in 1924, the industrial grain silo, an iconic emblem on Cape Town’s city skyline, fell out of use in 1990 before being transformed and repurposed to house a museum and of course the spectacular 28-room Silo Hotel. The interiors, led by owner Liz Biden who rarely lets anything go to waste, prove that second-hand goods can hold their own in a luxury setting. An eclectic assortment of disused fabrics and furnishings can be found in the hotel’s collective areas and guestrooms; head to The Willaston Bar and check out the bar stools that have been made with Italian leather Liz found on her travels.


Mixed Materials

Liz Biden has an impeccable eye for the unique and unlikely. Injecting her creative flair into all of the reputable properties that comprise The Royal Portfolio hotel group, the Silo Hotel is just another impressive notch on her belt. The thoughtfully created interiors at Silo Hotel are an unlikely combination of colours, materials, and eras–a surprising and unconventional mix, but it works, and it works well. You’ll find parquet wood floors set against checkered black and white tiles, cement walls paired with marble finishes, and velvet sofas set alongside teal leather benches.


Bright Colours

Veering away from the ever-popular Scandinavian approach to interiors, the design at Silo Hotel is anything but neutral tones and blank space. Each of the 28 guestrooms have their own quirky colour scheme. Starting with a piece of furniture, artwork, carpet or fabric, Liz will refer to this one item as a reference point when setting the precedence for the rest of the room. Expect zingy lime green furnishings, bright red walls, leopard print couches, and bold contemporary artwork on almost every wall.


Statement Chandelier

One step into the hotel’s reception area and it’s hard to miss the spectacular chandelier towering above. The contemporary, oversized statement piece by South African design firm Haldane Martin, poses a striking scene with its placement against the weathered concrete of the building’s original grain hoppers. Peruse the rooms and dining spots and you’ll find an endless use of the statement lighting; bathrooms are lit by delicate Egyptian-crystal chandeliers and a series of circular chandeliers on the sixth floor pay homage to elements featured in the building’s original infrastructure. Adding the perfect finishing touch to an expertly designed room, a statement-making light fixture definitely takes things to new heights.


Art, Art, and more Art

The hotel group’s owners are avid art enthusiasts, evident in their striking collection of unique works that characterise each of their properties distinct styles. For Silo Hotel, there’s a strong focus on contemporary African art spanning everything from wall-size canvases, photography, and sculptures. With her keen eye, Liz Biden has acquired a huge collection of art from her travels through Africa, complementing that of the museum below, Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa. There’s even a private art gallery within the hotel, The Vault; a reclaimed space on a private parking level, it’s been designed to showcase the best of established and up-and-coming African artists. Liz says ‘art brings a space to life, it creates warmth and tells stories. But moreover, art takes you on a journey which evolves as we evolve’, and we agree–more art it is.  

Book a stay at The Silo with Total Management Travel and receive:

–  Upgrade on Arrival

– Complimentary daily a la carte breakfast  

– A complimentary 50-minute massage for up to two people, once during stay

– Early check-in/late check-out

– Complimentary Wi-Fi

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