Amazing Hotels: Life Beyond the Lobby

The Silo, South Africa

Series 2 - Episode 5 The Silo, South Africa



The Silo hotel, built out of a former grain silo in Cape Town, is the epitome of industrial and urban chic. In contrast its sister hotel, La Residence, located among South Africa’s vineyards, is a plush, rural haven with a hint of Versailles.

Giles Coren and Monica Galetti do all the usual behind the scenes work (including abseiling down the Silo to clean the 5,824 panes of glass in its angular windows). But overall they’re uncomfortable about the vast inequality in the country post-apartheid. While the Cape Town hotel shouts success and opportunity, the colonial past is still alive in the townships and it angers Monica.


Giles Coren and Monica Galetti visit a hotel in South Africa that has been built into a 187-foot tall former grain silo and which also incorporates a museum of contemporary art. They are challenged to wash the building's 96 windows inside and out, and discover how staff have coped with the challenge of keeping the place clean in the wake of the worst drought to hit Cape Town in a century.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Giles Coren
Presenter Monica Galetti
Executive Producer Samantha Anstiss
Series Producer Rebecca Templar