Our History | The Royal Portfolio

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Our History

The story of The Royal Portfolio began in 1999 when Liz and Phil Biden opened Royal Malewane in the Greater Kruger National Park.

Phil explains that “We were fortunate to have a beautiful holiday home in the African bush. We had so many lovely memories and special times there as a family and Liz really wanted to share that. But it was addictive. And Liz was a natural. We soon wanted to share more unique South African experiences with our guests, our friends and our growing family.”

Liz has a real talent – not only for creating, designing and decorating incredible spaces, but for genuine and warm hospitality. She has remarkable vision and a real eye for detail.

To complement the safari experience at Royal Malewane, the Bidens soon opened Birkenhead House in Hermanus offering a coastal experience focused on the whales and the wonderful beaches and then La Residence in Franschhoek offering a wine country experience focused on gastronomy.

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The Biden family has always been very hands on with the business. Liz and Phil were delighted when their son Matthew agreed to join as the Managing Director of The Royal Portfolio in 2012 – to continue The Royal Portfolio’s legacy of growth and investment in Africa.

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The Silo is the latest chapter in the story and the realisation of a long-term dream to open a luxury hotel in the Biden’s home city of Cape Town. The Silo will complete the circuit of quintessentially South African experiences adding Cape Town’s art and culture to the existing experiences.

The family ethos really resonates throughout The Royal Portfolio today where each and every team member is considered to be a part of the family. It’s critical to everyone at The Royal Portfolio that our guests feel that same sense of familiarity when they stay at our hotels. That even though they are staying in a luxury hotel, they feel a sense of belonging and comfort – as if they have come home.