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The Turbine Boutique Hotel & Spa

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- Unique hotel set in former power plant
- High quality of accommodation
- Good base for exploring Knysna and beyond

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A decidedly unique boutique hotel, The Turbine is so-called simply because it’s been designed around a disused power station. The makeover transformed what was once a frenetic power station that supplied many with electricity, to a charming and delightful luxury hotel that’s quite unlike anything else. Replete with unique touches, it even features all of the plant's original machinery, which has been painstakingly restored and effortlessly blends in with the hotel’s decor. Situated in the town of Knysna on Thesen Island, the hotel has a Harbourside setting, with most rooms offering views of the waterfront and canal.

There are 24 rooms in total, along with two additional self-contained suites that are located adjacent to the main hotel building. All rooms are designed to be chic, luxurious and above all else, especially comfortable. There are six different wings to the hotel, with the rooms in each wing decorated in a particular style that pays homage to various features of Knysna and the surrounding area. Amenities common to all rooms include a flat-screen TV with DVD player, a minibar and tea and coffee making facilities. The en-suite bathrooms come with two basins, as well as a separate shower and bathtub.

Those looking to explore Knysna and the wider area can choose from an eclectic mix of excursions. Barge trips around Thesen Island and the other smaller islands in the Knysna River delta are possible, and whale watching expeditions are also very popular at certain times of the year. For those who want to stay on dry land, day trips to places as diverse as working ostrich farms, deep cave systems and a bridge that hosts the highest commercial bungee jump in the world can be arranged. Back at the hotel itself, there’s a rooftop pool, as well as the Turbine Spa, which offers an extensive menu of indulgent treatments and pampering sessions.

There are three places to eat at the hotel, each of which prepares fresh food and uses only ingredients that have been sourced locally. The Island Cafe is open for three meals a day and has tables set among the plant’s turbines, as well as some overlooking the canal - ideal for those keen on al fresco dining. The Gastro Pub offers hearty pub-style meals and a wide drinks menu, while Col’Cacchio serves up delicious pizzas, pastas and salads.

Children are welcome to stay at The Turbine, though the fact that there are no designated facilities or services such as babysitting for youngsters, means that it might best suit families with older children who will appreciate the contemporary, quirky feel of the hotel along with all that Knysna and the surrounding area has to offer.

What customers are saying after travelling with Tourdust

Average Rating

based on 497 reviews


  • Hi Lisa,

    The safari trip was excellent! The stay, the food and the people were all very nice. We were happy to have Ryan and Stanley as our game drive guides they brought us up close to the animals and Ryan gave very good information throughout.

    Would definitely recommend to friends who are interested in safaris :)

    Also, thanks much for your help, particularly keeping the room for my Brother and his wife they’ve enjoyed the safari very much too!

    Best regards,
    Woan Chyi

    MissingWoan Chyi L reviewing Cape Town & Kruger Safari on 16 October 2019

  • We had a fantastic time and all the arrangements worked perfectly.
    We were very impressed with the quality and service levels of all 4 locations visited and it was truly a holiday of a lifetime.
    Thank you to you and to Lisa for giving us this experience.
    Particular highlights for us – really the whole experience, but of particular impact:
    Breathtaking scenery at Cathedral Peak Hotel
    Rhino Ridge game drives incredible, thanks to guide (we had their head guide, Hala, who’s knowledge, enthusiasm, kindness, interaction, ability to spot wildlife was out of this world)
    Luxury of Rhino Ridge (shower, food, views, service)
    Immersion in nature, torch lit meal on last night and beach trip at Kosi Forest Lodge
    Level of service, quality of food throughout

    MissingCatherine F reviewing South Africa Safari, Beach and Wetlands on 04 September 2019

  • We had a fantastic time. Thank you and it went smoothly in the main except for British Airways!

    The trip had the right degree of luxury and relaxation (for me) and adventure (all of us).

    A few points:
    Driving directions to Umlunghi Lodge were slightly wrong. The driving directions should read at the 4th roundabout take the first exit and turn right over the railway. We loved it there. Anton, Bianca and her son and Harriet were very informative and entertaining. The snake talk and handling, night walks and seeing scorpions and the walk in the bush and "bumping" into a giraffe were really special. The kayak trip to Makuzi pan that the lodge organised was good and Tomaz was very informative and kept a respectful distance from the hippos.3 nights was plenty.

    Rhino River Lodge game reserve was incredibly luxurious and we felt very looked after. The lion siting in camp the day we arrived sent an extra frisson of excitement down our spines. It was easy to forget there were predators that could attack us with all that luxury. The staff and guides (Karl) were knowledgeable and invested in their set up. We saw rhinos with baby, cheetahs with young, porcupine, Genet, wildebeast, Impala, Lion with young, buffalo, a puff adder, ostrich, zebra and giraffes. 4 nights was also plenty.
    They all served great food but I felt Ghost Mountain Inn topped the lot. The variety was amazing. We arrived at 10.30 but could not get into our room until 2 ish. The service was not so personal I guess because it is larger (far more than 50 rooms). We had been a bit spoilt at Rhino River! My daughter and I had some treatments at the Spa and loved it. We also went on a large boat trip on Jonzi and had a closer encounter with a large bull hippo and also a hike up Ghost Mountain with Patrick who was very informative and passionate about his people and his country. Isaac the other guide there took us on the boat trip and pointed out the sugar cane harvest on the way. he was very informative also.

    Lastly, Lalaria Lodge was fabulous and we all piled into the surf of the Indian Ocean. There was hardly anyone on the beach. It was "too cold" according to the landlady. The view from her terrace was of the ocean and whales breaching in the distance. I could have sat there all day. She very kindly provided us with a Scrabble board of her own for us to play. We took a Microlight ride from Ballito over the coastline in the hope of seeing whales and dolphins but no luck. If we had stayed longer we might have gone on a boat trip from Durban. We had a meal at a restaurant called Mozambique which was great fun with vast portions, plenty of carbs and fresh seafood!

    The value of the Rand to the Pound was excellent and therefore we felt that we got excellent value which also played a large part!

    MissingKatrina P reviewing Value KZN Bush & Beach Safari For Families on 02 September 2019

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