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Home | Elegant Traveller | Regal Style Reigns With Liz Biden's Stylish South African Interiors

Elegant Traveller

Regal Style Reigns With Liz Biden's Stylish South African Interiors

schedule5 Minute Read

Layla Crocker

For those searching for stylish suites in South Africa, they need look no further than Liz Biden's celebrated boutique havens.

For those searching for stylish suites in South Africa, they need look no further than Liz Biden's celebrated boutique havens.
One of Vanity Fair's Game Changers for 2016, Liz Biden is a visionary luxury hotelier with a natural grace and enviable talent. Providing elegant retreats, renowned for perfect privacy and impeccable service, her expert team regularly hosts an array of global celebrities and VIPs, many of whom are loyal patrons of her inimitable creative flair. Step inside to see Liz's stylish interiors and let your eyes follow her flamboyant furnishings. With The Royal Portfolio, privileged guests admire the interiors and not just the view.

Grand Interiors With Exceptional Style

With Liz's vibrant interiors very much the talk of every discerning traveller's dining table, we wanted to learn more about her interior inspiration and her much-decorated internal ambition. But, before we learn more about her opulent, ornate and decadent designs, we wanted to know how her majestic journey into interiors began.

Liz Biden's Stylish Interiors

From early commercial success with South Africa fashion house, Jenni Button, to the creation in 1999 of The Royal Portfolio luxury boutique hotel group and opening of Royal Malewane, her spirited talent has been expertly matched by her husband's business and developing acumen. Together, they formed an immensely successful family enterprise and run an impressive portfolio of unique properties encompassing safari, beach, the Cape Winelands and city experiences. With each unique property boasting rich decor and a wealth of art, there is plenty to see before the view.
Royal Malewane: The Masiya Bar
Royal Malewane: Luxury Suite

Liz's Signature Interior Style

With a signature eclectic style of melding period furniture with striking modern artworks, bold colours and opulent chandeliers her interior style is far from understated and much admired by her discerning international guests. Along with each new property, Liz seems to grow in style confidence and there seems no limit to her imagination. Often inspired by her global travels, she sources the finest crystal, hand-crafted woods, Persian carpets and exquisite fabrics. Such is her determination to realise her daring artistic vision, that heating a huge marble bed, re-enforcing ceilings to support enormous light fittings or commissioning grand sculptures (as per La Residence) to grace an arrival area is simply par for her, ever-so-stylish, course.
La Residence: Suite 3
La Residence: Suite 4
La Residence: Suite 5
La Residence: The Huguenot Suite

An Interior With A Stylish View

The Royal Portfolio's latest luxury hotel opening, The Silo, in Cape Town, is a very different build for Liz and husband Phil, and yet despite its industrial heritage and cutting-edge architecture - a departure from The Royal Portfolio norm - it still triumphantly showcases Liz's signature style, of marrying old with new. Behind the innovative pillowed-glass windows, period furniture elegantly sits alongside cutting-edge materials, whilst the breathtaking exterior views are expertly paired with strikingly attractive and luxurious interiors.
The Silo: The Willaston Bar
The Silo: Granary Cafe

An Interview With Liz Biden - Unlocking The Key To Her Stylish Success

So, does this latest lofty project hint at a new direction for the dynamic duo, or is Liz planning to wind down her creative efforts and hand over her characteristic wand? We posed a few illuminating questions to Liz and she kindly replied in her usually polished style:

Congratulations on the opening of your latest venture - the spectacular Silo Hotel in Cape Town. This was a very different project for your team - what were the main challenges you faced?


This was certainly one of our most challenging projects to date. A heritage building presents unique challenges. Space was the biggest issue. We were restricted by the two core elevator shafts running through the building, as well as the steel columns that run every 4 metres through the building forming a cubic geometry. Creating a comfortable, accommodating and luxurious hotel within the stark industrial space was another fun challenge.

As an accomplished interior designer, were you ever tempted to move away from your usual signature colours and style for The Silo's interiors?


The Silo is definitely unique, it is something quite different to our other properties. But I think it's important to have some consistency across our brand. The Royal Portfolio has a signature style, and while I try to let each space design itself, The Silo's stark, industrial exterior seemed ideal for a brighter, colourful and eclectic interior.

As a team, do you prefer converting buildings or designing new builds?


It depends really. We love doing both, and both offer unique challenges, so depending on the location and character of the existing property, both converting or designing from scratch can be equally rewarding.

Are you planning to add any further properties to your portfolio and would you ever consider developing properties overseas?


Certainly! We have some exciting projects in the pipeline in Africa, which we can't wait to share. We would definitely consider something overseas if the right opportunity arose.

As a keen traveller, which country or destination remains on your wish list?


Bhutan. There's something about the culture there, the beautiful temples, combined with the dramatic scenery, which interests me.

As a successful family business, do you have future plans to retire in style and hand over the responsibilities to your children?


I don't plan to retire just yet, but I do hope that all my children will become more involved in the business and slowly take over. Our son, Matthew, is already our Managing Director.

Liz Biden's Stylish And Regal Interiors

Of course, complementing the accomplished style is an expert team of hospitality specialists who provide impeccable service, ensure perfect privacy and delight in delivering exquisitely tailored stays for a loyal following of celebrities and VIPs from across the globe. Exceptional style, enriching South African experiences and world-class service easily translate across any language and appeals to many cultures. Liz's venture into luxury travel has clearly been a celebrated journey, and whilst superlative service, plus wonderful art, comes very much as standard (not that anything is 'standard', of course), we continue to applaud her dedicated hands-on approach to each of their design and build projects.

Elegant Repurposing

Liz's commitment to salvaging and repurposing and her eye for detail - along with audacious desire to create opulent elegance matched with comfort, warmth and function - leaves us all wishing we were more fearless with our own choice of interior d├ęcor. From painting a wooden bed blue, to furnishing a room in 'Tibetan' style, Liz Biden's stylish interiors inevitably leave us green with envy - long may her reign of stylish interiors continue!

Layla Crocker


At just three months old I began a lifelong love affair with travel. Since that first holiday to Barbados, I've since visited over 50 countries. My favourite travel memories are an incredible safari in Botswana and sipping Champagne at the top of the Eiffel Tower.

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