The Silo Hotel Turns One | The Royal Portfolio

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1 March2018

by Greg Cooke

It's hard to believe it's been a year since The Silo Hotel opened its doors. Here we look back on some memorable moments and wonderful achievements from the last year.

The Silo Hotel above Zeitz MOCAA has been a phenomenal project filled with complexity and unique challenges. A triumph of collaboration and vision. The architecture, the history, the contemporary art and the design have combined on a truly magical journey.

It seems like only yesterday that The Royal Portfolio team was hard at work on the final touches at this amazing hotel. But a year has indeed passed and the “final touches” never cease. The entire team has been working tirelessly to improve the guest experience and to promote continuous improvement. No detail is too small.

It has been a whirlwind 12 months so we thought it appropriate to take a moment to reflect on some wonderful achievements, unique challenges and memorable moments.

Developing together as a passionate and expert team, molded by The Royal Portfolio’s Purpose & Values, The Silo family has overcome many challenges and achieved some fantastic accolades within their first year. International recognition came in the form of We Are Africa’s Design Africa award, inclusion in the Condé Nast Traveller Hot List 2017 as well as Travel & Leisure’s IT List 2018. Jetsetter’s Best Boutique Hotel in the World 2018 award was one of the team’s proudest achievements.

None of those achievements would have been possible without our wonderful guests, our incredible team and the support of the travel industry resulting in some phenomenal media exposure.

In addition to these humbling accolades, we’re delighted to share that The Silo Hotel, together with La Residence in Franschhoek, will feature on the BBC’s Amazing Hotels: Life Beyond the Lobby. The show will air in the United Kingdom on BBC 2 at 9pm (GMT) on Tuesday 27 March. Producing the show was a great thrill for all involved and we are grateful for this opportunity to showcase our beautiful country to the world.

silo-rooftop

As our first year draws to a close, we caught up with founder and owner of The Royal Portfolio, Liz Biden, Managing Director of The Royal Portfolio, Matt Biden, and General Manager of The Silo Hotel, Luis Pinheiro.

Liz Biden

"We wanted to create a lively, welcoming, and contemporary space that offered an exciting and highly personalised experiences for our guests."

“Designing the interiors of The Silo Hotel has been a complicated task, unlike anything I have done before. Limited space throughout the building, the stark industrial exterior and the unusual shape brought various challenges.

My style is my own. I don’t work to any rules and I never chase trends. However, much of my inspiration comes from two of my good friends Ralph Krall and Colleen Kosoy.

I wanted to create a beautiful and comfortable space where our guests would feel special and delighted. This meant balancing the architecture with aspects of classic glamour. Brightening the interior spaces and offering our guests unique, eclectic, and luxurious comfort.” – Liz Biden

Matt Biden

"It has been a privilege to be involved in such a high profile project. Zeitz MOCAA is an amazing draw card for Cape Town and for South Africa."

“Across The Royal Portfolio we have traditionally bought more classical pieces of art. Over the last 6 years it has been fascinating learning about contemporary African art which has introduced a wonderful new experience to our circuit of luxury South African travel experiences.

We have built our own collection of over 300 pieces of art at The Silo Hotel and we are enjoying showcasing Africa’s incredible talent in The Vault which is our private gallery space in the basement where we feature a different artist every six months. It’s wonderful to see Cape Town’s cultural scene going from strength to strength.” – Matt Biden

Luis Pinheiro

"It's been an honour for The Silo family to be included in such incredible accolades. These have been fantastic affirmation after the team's hard work."

“One highlight for me has been watching the team go from strength to strength, passionately growing in expertise and confidence. At the end of the day it’s the behind the scenes and service that really matter, so I can’t thank my team enough for the hard work they’ve put in this year. Particularly in a building that presents such unique challenges and constraints.

The incredible media coverage of the The Silo Hotel and Zeitz MOCAA has resulted in a lot of visitors from near and far. We want everyone to come and enjoy the hotel and encourage the public to make prior reservations for The Granary Café, The Silo Rooftop, and The Silo Spa. ” – Luis Pinheiro

silo-rooftop-pool-cape-town

Over the year, we’ve welcomed guests from around the world and been visited by a number of top journalists and photographers and hosted a number of international influencers. We’ve included some of our favourite images throughout this piece.

We look forward to what lies ahead for The Silo Hotel and for The Royal Portfolio as we continue to fine tune the guest experience and to ensure that we provide value and superior, personalised service.

The tourism industry in Cape Town has gone from strength to strength, bringing with it an influx of foreign investment. This permeates beyond the amazing hotels and tourist attractions the city has to offer, and is now evident in the exploding epicurean scene. The city has also become increasingly trendy, and is now a hot-spot for fashion, design, and art. We feel privileged to be part of this evolution and look forward to welcoming many more guests to The Silo Hotel in years to come.

Watch our video about The Silo Hotel below:

A Few Of Our Favourite Media Quotes

The brainchild of South African hotelier extraordinaire Liz Biden, the 28-room property is a study in eclecticism, with polished concrete walls covered in ornate gilded mirrors; pockmarked pillars and lime-green ostrich-leather desks and bedside tables; and the rusting remnants of an erstwhile grain elevator nudging against leather chesterfield swings. –  RobbReport

When the sun sets, those huge faceted windows light up, turning the building into a lodestar in the city’s topography. – VISI Magazine

While a profusion of restaurants are within walking distance, Executive Chef Veronica Canha-Hibbert will tempt most to stay in. The Willaston Bar is the perfect spot for a cocktail before heading to The Granary, where Canha-Hibbert’s French bistro menu is filled with classics such as bouillabaisse and steak frites. – Wallpaper Magazine

Kicky colors, whimsical patterns, and chinoiserie details abound, as does much work by contemporary artists also in the neighboring museum’s collection, though guests may be hard-pressed to take their eyes off the harbor views as seen through Heatherwick’s geodesic windows. – Architectural Digest

The idea of turning raw industrial space into luxury hotels has been a standard part of the repertoire of urban renewal. But this is different. It’s the touch of Liz Biden, founder of South Africa–based hotel group the Royal Portfolio. The space is personal, intimate, and geared to how she understands her guests rather than to any preconceptions about design hotels. – Departures Magazine

Bright, vibrant pieces by contemporary African artists fill the rooms and public spaces, introducing guests to artists like Frances Goodman… – Forbes Magazine

There is vibrant art on almost every wall. African art is booming and the close link with the museum gives the hotel its particularity. Biden sees it as an “amazing opportunity to showcase the talent, mystery, and perspective of these young Africa artists to our overseas visitors. – Financial Times 

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Gaynor Walkey
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Gaynor Walkey

What an amazing achievement. Not that we had any doubt about its success, taking into account the extraordinary talent and vision of Liz Biden. Proud to be associated.

Jane West
Guest
Jane West

I’ve always said the best hotel in the world is La Res until we got to The Silo! Kicky colours is too true! Who has the (nerve) foresight to do a room in yellows and mustards and pull it off to a spectacular finish!! I wish the ROYALportfolio had an international training program because they are at the top of the hotel game…the very top! We can’t wait to try the Royal Malawane as that will finish the tri-fecta of Number Ones!
Jane West
Roar Africa Advisory Board

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