“Whoa, what even is this place?” asks my awestruck daughter as we walk past the hulking industrial remains of a grain silo on Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront. “Are we sleeping in a factory?”
The short answer is yes. Well, at least it used to be. Once an ugly industrial complex of derelict concrete grain silos, the reinvented, and now entirely glamorous, structure is the home of the extraordinary Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA),
It’s also houses The Silo Hotel Cape Town, a sparkling 28-bedroom boutique beauty that inhabits its upper floors, offering visitors a unique luxury experience, and some of the most outstanding views in all of kid-friendly Cape Town.
Conveniently located in the Silo District of the V&A Waterfront, the hotel is just minutes from the area’s dining and shopping action and the Robben Island Ferry wharf, and is ideally situated to explore Cape Town’s popular attractions, including the colourful Cape Malay quarter, Table Mountain and Boulders Beach.
The striking, family friendly hotel is a five star celebration of art, architecture, sustainability and style.
Bulging, multi-panelled diamond windows invite Table Mountain and Table Bay Harbour inside, in spectacular style. And the interiors are as splendid as the views, decorated in an opulent bower bird style, with an eclectic mix of furniture and artworks adding a hefty shot of colour and warmth.
Old school chesterfields, Egyptian-crystal chandeliers and Persian rugs meet bright modern canvases, quirky African collectibles and an assortment of colourful artefacts from across the globe, to create an exciting space that the kids and I fall head over heels in love with before we even leave the 6th floor reception.
The kids have also formed a bit of a crush on the charming Irene who, hand-in-hand with her new BFF Sugarpuff (who is positively swooning with delight), takes us on a giggle-packed tour of the hotel, before escorting us to our magnificent suite.
The Silo Hotel Cape Town – Family Suites
“What is your favourite colour?” asks Irene. Luckily their answer is red, because she opens the door to reveal, our startling, stunning multi-level suite, decked out in razzmatazz shades of red and orange. “I love it,” whispers an awed Sugarpuff, who receives a delighted hug from Irene in return. I think we’re going to like it here.
Family suites, like ours, make a stay at The Silo Hotel Cape Town with kids easy. Every room in the hotel is unique and beautiful in equal measure, but we feel like we’ve won the hotel room lottery as our two-bedroom family suite is without question the most dazzling we’ve had the fortune to encounter. Located on the 7th floor, more of those ingenious pillow-like windows offer extraordinary views out over Table Mountain and Signal Hill, and there’s a lovely balcony from which to sit and watch the sparkling city lights by night.
Part art gallery, part luxury home, the suite is packed with a tonne of personality. The first floor has a private dining area, where a big bowl of fresh fruit, berries and hand made chocolates await the kids, and an ice bucket with a bottle of chilled champagne is singing my name.
The building’s original steel industrial beams peek into the lounge, which is packed with fat sofas, inviting armchairs and original, modern artworks. Indeed, there are so many amazing artworks scattered throughout the suite that a curated art guide has been left for us to familiarise ourselves with each of the pieces on display, as well as the talented artists who created them.
A second lounge area with an equally inviting sofa has been set up for use as a media room, with a huge TV for those who can tear their eyes off stunning Table Mountain. Under the stairs is a magical mirrored cabinet filled with the prettiest porcelain tea cups, a selection of coffee and tea, and a cutting board with fresh lime and ginger to add a hint of zest. There’s also a couple of complimentary bottles of wine, a choice of spirits, and a bespoke box of house made savoury and sweet snacks, just begging us to eat them.
Upstairs are two bedrooms, the main boasting an enormous king-sized bed with an enormous textural red headboard, spunky red faux lizard skin side tables and more of those floor-to-ceiling views of the mountains and the city.
There’s also a decadent red walled dressing room with fluffy robes and slippers, and a ballroom sized bathroom with a huge free-standing tub, a sassy leopard print chaise and a ravishingly red, Asian-style side table.
The twin beds in the kids’ room also boast giant red headboards and there are gift-wrapped surprises at the foot of each… a tribal necklace for Raff, a pretty purse for Sugarpuff, and a couple of arty activity books for them both to complete. They’re suitable chuffed.
Like the rest of our suite, the kids’ room has its own eclectic collection of art, including a funky red ceramic chicken and a painting of lazy zebra lolling on a chaise lounge that the kids take quite a fancy to. They too have their own enormous bathroom, with twin sinks, a freestanding tub and the most divinely fragranced amenities.
The Silo Hotel – Pool
I find myself wondering if there’s a hardware store nearby, so we can board up the door, because our entire suite is so perfect they may have to forcibly remove us at checkout time. But the kids scupper that plan when they announce they want a dip in the pool.
Open only to hotel guests, this has to be one of the world’s most beautiful rooftop pools, with towering concrete columns that give off a Grecian vibe, see through glass walls, and dazzling 360-degree vistas over beautiful Cape Town.
Another stroke of genius is the Rooftop Bar, next to the pool, and a gin cocktail they whipped up is as picture perfect as the sunset views. While I sip on my drink, the kids float away on fluffy floating bean bags, giant grins splashed across their faces.
The Silo Hotel – Food
To my galloping gluttons, food is one of the most important elements of any hotel experience. Fortunately, The Silo Hotel Cape Town nails that too. Their gorgeous Granary Café delivers modern cuisine that showcases the best seasonal, local ingredients. Breakfast is a splendiferous thing of freshly squeezed juice made to order and an extensive a la carte breakfast menu. The kids order brioche stacked with smoked salmon and hollandaise and I opt for a vegetarian breakfast of eggs, avocado, haloumi, tomato, mushrooms and rosti potato.
Instead of the usual hotel buffet, along with our hot breakfast, a “Harvest Table” is delivered directly to us. Essentially a high tea tower, it’s stacked with local charcuterie meats and cheeses, jars of fresh fruit and berries, decadently creamy potted yoghurt and nutty granola, plus a bulging basket of pastries.
Lunch by the pool is always a good idea, and the kids pick over a cheese sharing plate and some truffle chips on the rooftop, while I devour a delightful wood roasted root vegetable salad topped with tangy labneh, almonds and honey.
At dinner I dive into a spicy Cape Seafood Curry, fragrant with coconut and lemongrass rice and served with cooling cubes of green tea- infused cucumber and a zingy lemon yoghurt. Raff goes to town on the hotel’s signature steak tartare with hand cut chips, while an exhausted Sugarpuff falls asleep in a bowl of noodles.
Every dish is such a winner that we hit repeat the following night. The kids are so happy they suggest we should extend our stay…. by at least a year or two.
The Silo Hotel Cape Town – Sustainability
The Silo Hotel Cape Town’s conversion from derelict concrete eye saw to world-class five-star hotel is the ultimate in up cycling, but the hotel’s sustainability efforts don’t stop there. The plastic-free hotel’s impressive commitment to saving energy and water is just the start.
Their sustainable business ethos is holistic, focusing not only on job creation and training internally, but looking outward to local communities, sourcing local goods and inviting guests to support community initiatives through respectful, authentic and non-invasive tours and programmes.
Produce is sourced from local small-scale suppliers, as are handmade gifts and treats, and many of the curated artworks throughout the hotel are sourced locally to further support and empower local artists and artisans.
Which is why it is the heart behind this hotel, not just its stunning style, makes it such a special place for its guests and the community around it.
The Silo Hotel Cape Town
Silo Square, Victoria & Alfred Waterfront,
Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Town with kids – Need to know before you go
When to visit
Great weather makes Cape Town a great year-round destination.
While English is widely spoken, especially in the city, there are 11 official languages spoken in South Africa and the most commonly spoken languages are Zulu, Xhosa, and Afrikaans.
The Rand (R)
Voltage is 230V and 50Hz. Power outlets are round three pin sockets.
Visa & Passport Requirements
A South African tourist visa is not required for citizens of Australia for a stay up to 90 days. South Africa requires that all children entering or leaving the country carry an unabridged birth certificate and parental consent affidavits if they are travelling with only one parent. All visitors will require a passport valid for at least six (6) months.
Cape Town is free from malaria and safe for travellers of all age. While there are no essential vaccinations for travellers to South Africa at the time of publication, we advise visiting your family GP at least six weeks before travel for up to date advice on the latest recommendations and necessary immunisations.
Crime is an issue throughout South Africa. And in Cape Town, like any city, crime does exist but 95% of serious crime occurs in the communities of the Cape Flats area, where it is not advised to go. Pick pockets can be an issue in the city centre and muggings are known to occur in Table Mountain National Park so it’s best to go with a guide and always keep cash and valuables such as flashy jewellery, cameras and phones out of sight. It is not recommended to catch public transport or walk after dark. If you do need to go out at night, UBERs are the safest option.