IN PICTURES: Inside the cool new Cape Town hotel everyone's talking about
The Silo Hotel at the V&A Waterfront is Cape Town Style at it's best, writes Andrea Nagel
Let's fast forward to waking up in one of the most luxurious hotel bedrooms I've ever been in. The morning light filters in through the jewel-like panes of a convex wall of glass, beyond which are views across Lion's Head and Signal Hill in one direction, the foreshore and harbour in the other.
The windows of the penthouse lounge frame Table Mountain, overlaying the great landmark with the crisscross patterning of the panes like a modern artwork.
At breakfast, two floors down at the Granary Cafe, we're momentarily distracted from a delicious display of buffet snacks by climbing ropes being lowered outside the window. Is abseiling an activity offered by the hotel?
Back in the room, the purpose of the ropes becomes clear as two men bearing squeegies suddenly loom outside my bathroom window as I'm preparing to get into the bath.
Apparently, keeping the compound eye-like exterior of the building clean has been a big challenge since it opened on March 1, but the pillowed glass windows, the greatest visible change to the original grain silo's monumental structure, are so arresting that whatever extra maintenance they require is worth it. The windows bulge outward as if gently inflated, and by night they transform the building into a glowing lantern in the harbour.
This, the newly completed Silo Hotel in Cape Town's V&A Waterfront and the latest five-star addition to the Royal Portfolio of hotels, has been a source of anticipation for anyone interested in the changing architectural face of Cape Town.
Above: The lounge of one of the Deluxe Superior Suites.
Above: Even the bathrooms boast astounding views.
Above: The study area of the penthouse boasts views of Lion's Head and Signal Hill.
Indeed, the art world has also been eagerly awaiting the completion of the hotel that forms part of the complex which houses the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, a project (already much in the news) initiated by German-born businessman Jochen Zeitz. The museum, designed by Heatherwick Studio, is scheduled for completion in September.
In the meantime, the hotel has been inundated with fascinated people coming to have a look at how the dramatic exterior translates on the inside.
Liz Biden, the owner of The Royal Portfolio, is behind the meticulous design and decor of the interiors. Each of the 28 rooms is unique.
Biden explains. ''The Silo Hotel is an exciting and ambitious project which we believe will rank among the best hotels in the world. The building is modern and industrial, so the interior design contrasts that with the addition of comfortable, colourful and more playful touches."
The building has two parts - the elevator tower, where The Silo Hotel is located, which once facilitated the mechanical bulk handling of grain, and the actual storage silos themselves, which will be converted into the cathedral-like space of the museum.
Biden has maintained the industrial character of the building, contrasting a mixture of historic infrastructure and modern design.
Above: The rooftop swimming pool.
Above: The rooftop bar.
NEED TO KNOW
Facilities: The Granary Café and The Willaston Bar for delicious meals and sophisticated drinks. The Sky Terrace and Rooftop Restaurant for insurmountable views and sundowners. Rooftop swimming pool, Silo spa and gym.
What it costs? Rates vary per season; they include breakfast, access to the gym and spa, museum entrance (when it opens) and wi-fi.
Don't miss: Sunset cocktails at the Rooftop Bar where 360-degree views of Cape Town await. Have the Iceplant Negroni - Sipsmith gin, Aperol, sweet vermouth, fig and cinnamon.
•This article was originally published in The Times.