Cape Town is on the must-see list of many travellers. With its buzzy cosmopolitan culture, balmy Mediterranean climate, trendy neighbourhoods and a truly remarkable history, Cape Town is one of the world’s most enchanting cities. It’s a city that is very easy to fall in love with, and is frequently voted among the top 10 best cities in the world to visit.
If you planning a visit to Cape Town and not sure where to stay, why not try something a little different? These are five of our favourite funky hotels in Cape Town.
The Silo Hotel
One of Cape Town’s hottest new properties, the Silo Hotel is a magical hotel towering above the V&A Waterfront and makes an ideal base from which to explore all that the city has to offer.
The Silo District was historically one of the busiest areas of Cape Town’s commercial port, and the industrial hub of the city. Whilst the area still a working dockyard, since its redevelopment over the last few years it has also become home to Africa’s largest collection of contemporary African art in the Zeitz MOCAA (Museum of Contemporary Art Africa) and numerous excellent bars, restaurants and stores.
The Silo Hotel has been built in the grain elevator portion of the historic grain silo complex occupying 6 floors above Zeitz MOCAA. From the outside, the greatest visible change to the building’s original structure is the addition of pillowed glazing panels, inserted into the geometry of the hotel floors, which will bulge outward as if gently inflated. By night, this transforms the building into a glowing lantern or beacon overlooking the harbour.
Inside, the hotel is decorated in an opulent style with an eclectic mix of furniture: colourful sofas and chairs sit under elaborate chandeliers, and the fabrics and Persian carpets in bold colours contrast with the natural woods and metals that are a reminder of the building’s historical past. Guests can relax at the spa, take afternoon tea overlooking Table Mountain, quaff champagne, swim in the rooftop pool, work off the city’s fine dining in the gym or enjoy a guided tour of the museum.
One of the best and most interesting new hotels in Cape Town, the Silo appeals to art lovers, architecture addicts and style junkies alike.
Also in the Silo district, the very modern Radisson RED Hotel is within a few minutes’ walk of the V&A Waterfront, and adjacent to the Zeitz MOCAA. This urban city hotel has a young, relaxed vibe with a focus on art, technology, fashion and music.
The hotel is decorated with simple-but-stylish contemporary furniture and a largely monochromatic pallette, with bright splashes of red and occasional accents in other colours. There is plenty of exposed concrete in the rooms and public spaces, and exposed air conditioning ducts and industrial style lighting complete the urban chic look.
As soon as you arrive at the hotel you are aware that this is a little different. There is no large check-in desk, and instead you check via the self-service terminals or the app that you download to your phone. If you use the app, then you can also use your phone to access your room, order food and drink, contact guest services, and check-out at the end of your stay.
In keeping with the modern feel of the hotel, the guest rooms all feature large, vibrant murals, and come with free Wi-Fi, smart TVs and mini fridges. The family suites have bunk beds for the kids – complete with a TV display in each bunk!
As well as it’s excellent location only a short stroll from the bars and restaurants of the Silo District and V&A Waterfront, Radisson Red also has a lovely roof space with seating around the swimming pool offering views of Table Mountain and the harbour. As you would expect, the set-up is modern and relaxed, with a deli serving breakfast pastries before lunchtime, and then switching to burgers and sharing platters later in the day. Just in case this set-up sounds a little conventional, cocktails, craft beers, and other drinks are served from the bright red truck which serves as a bar.
15 On Orange
The Company’s Garden is a large park in the centre of Cape Town that was first established in the 1650s as a refreshment station for the ships of the Dutch East India Company as they rounded the tip of Africa on their way to India from Europe. 15 On Orange occupies a large site near to the Garden and only a couple of minutes walk from the restaurants and bars Long Street, and this glamorous urban oasis with boasts floor to ceiling windows and a huge number of plants is a wonderfully relaxing and contemporary place to stay in the heart of the city.
The rooftop pool bar has great views of Table Mountain & Lions head as a backdrop, and is a favourite spot to relax on lazy summer weekends with both locals and international visitors. whilst the main atrium bar whilst guests at the wine bar in the lobby catch the light of the huge chandelier.
Their are 3 major room types in addition to the suites – city view and mountain view rooms are on the outside of the hotel and have fantastic views, whereas the atrium rooms are set around the large atrium in the centre of the hotel. Whilst the atrium rooms have some funky-looking suspended chairs they lack natural light and can be noisy, so the mountain view and city view rooms are definitely the ones to go for here.
The Grand Daddy
The Grand Daddy is one of the longest established funky hotels in Cape Town, and boasts a fantastic location among the restaurants, bars, and clubs of Long Street in the heart of the city. Housed in a refurbished Georgian building, the Grand Daddy blends the maturity and grace of the original building with a youthful energy that comes from it’s fun and funky design.
All of the rooms are colourful and modern, but the real talking point and focus is the roof, where there is a lovely rooftop bar and 7 vintage Airstream trailers which operate as guest rooms complete with queen-size bed, wet room with shower and w.c., TV, Aircon, and a mini-bar. The trailers are all brightly decorated to an overall theme of a road trip around South Africa, with each trailer decorated to represent a particular area or activity such as the winelands or a safari, etc. These are probably the most unique hotel experience in the middle of the town, and are highly recommended for anyone looking for something really unusual in the heart of the city.
Camps Bay, under the Twelve Apostles mountain range, is a chic suburb on Cape Town’s trendy Atlantic Seaboard, a mere 7 minutes from the center of the city. Sidewalk cafes, bars and a casual, relaxed atmosphere make this spot a beachcomber’s paradise, and as it faces west across the ocean it is one of the city’s top places for an early evening drink to watch the sun set before heading out for the evening.
The Marly has an enviable location right in the heart of Camps Bay, and offers beautiful ocean views from it’s sea-facing suites and public areas. As first glance the decor is far more subtle than the other hotels featured on this list, however there are many beautiful design touches and unusual furnishings that distinguish this from the tasteful-but-dull decor of many hotels. There are plenty of ornately framed mirrors, film-set style lighting and floral painted skulls that mean that each room and space has it’s own character.
Paul Campbell is a Co-founder and Managing Director at Travel Butlers. Travel Butlers are specialists in tailor-made safari and beach holidays to Africa and the Indian Ocean.