The Turbine Boutique Hotel & Spa

4* out of 5 stars

This five-star pied-à-terre on Thesen Islands in South Africa packs a lot into a relatively modest footprint. The dynamic space – beautifully converted from an old power station – combines an industrial aesthetic with the upscale flourishes common in today’s best boutique accommodations. In this case, think lovingly restored machinery and steel pillars rubbing shoulders with silk furnishings in aquatic hues, and evocative Clinton Friedman photo prints. Funky but functional, this unique décor makes for a unique stay. Choose from 17 standard room, six luxury rooms, a honeymoon suite and two stand-alone suites.

Luxury holidays at The Turbine Boutique Hotel & Spa

Luxurious amenities grace each accommodation, from flat screen TVs and minibars to tea & coffee stations and wifi. Following the signature industrial theme, exposed masonry and vast, whitewashed walls contrast the playful décor with a hard edge. Attention to small details – such as matching the colours of dining chairs to the bright blues, greens and oranges in which the pipes and machines are painted – ties the overall design together. The only match for such exquisite interiors are inspiring views. Look no further; this Knysna hotel has you covered for wonderful waterfront and sweeping countryside outlooks.

Things to do at The Turbine Boutique Hotel & Spa

From food and adventure to wellness, leisure time can be as laidback or upbeat as you wish at this quirky-cool South Africa hideaway. Turbine Waterclub is your go-to for pontoon cruises on Knsyna Lagoon, chartered fishing trips, whale watching and kayaking. On land, there are forest tours and you can hire bikes, too. As for the food and drink at The Turbine Boutique, fine a la carte fare is the name of the game at 90-seater Island café, while Gastro Pub is on hand for dinner and drinks while watching the match. But what South Africa holiday would be complete without a spot of real pampering? Reboot and refresh at onsite Turbine Spa – one of the best on the Garden Route – with massages, facials, and nourishing treatments at the Rhassoul Steam Room.

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Accommodation

Standard Room

With an emphasis on natural light, each room is designed in such a way that it accentuates the hotel’s exquisite placement, and therefore effortlessly embraces both the natural beauty and historical significance of this one of a kind hotel. Above all else, the Turbine Boutique Hotel and Spa strives to combine elegance and flair with ultimate comfort and relaxation, to ensure each guest is left feeling like they’ve experienced the best of the best accommodation in Knysna


The rooms are spread throughout the six different wings that make up this stylish boutique hotel. These include the Garden Wing, the Lagoon Wing, the Lookout Suites, the Regatta Wing, the Forest Wing, and the Thesen Wing, and each features decor to offset one of the many fascinating aspects of the greater Knysna area. All rooms boast large, comfortable king-sized beds, and a wide variety of convenient amenities, making this a prime spot for accommodation in Knysna. The en-suite bathrooms are equipped with a separate shower and bath, two basins and heated towel rails. What’s more, the rooms are secured with a Ving card access system, granting guests a sense of security and relaxation. Amenities: Flat screen 32″; TV; DVD player; Desk; Telephone; Wi-Fi; Mini bar; Tea & coffee station.

Luxury Room

Each room is spacious and airy, and is designed to accentuate the hotel’s exquisite placement. Large windows and balconies ensure that these rooms effortlessly embrace both the natural beauty and historical significance of this one of a kind location. The Luxury Rooms provide more space for guests to spread out, and indulge in the comfort and style that Turbine Boutique Hotel and Spa strives for. The six Luxury Rooms include a lounge and bar area, and four of them have an extra sleeper couch. Some have private gardens or balconies.

No two rooms at Turbine are the same, and their charm and character balance well with the natural beauty, and inherent history of this sought after destination. The Infinity Room, for example, boasts a jaw dropping view of the mountains and Knysna Heads, and as a result, uses a colour palette of greens and earth tones to draw in the distant hills. On the other hand, the Thesen Room pays tribute to the island’s founder Charles Thesen; with walls adorned with seafaring maps and prints of the original top portals of the Thesen House building in remembrance of this iconic explorer and businessman. Each room comprises a luxurious king-size bed, expansive en suite bathroom, mini bar fridge, air-conditioning and satellite TV. The standout feature of these rooms is the lounge and bar area, which allows additional privacy and comfort. Amenities: Flat screen 32″ TV; DVD player; Desk; Telephone; Wi-Fi; Mini bar; Tea & coffee station; Microwave.

Honeymoon Suite

The perfect place to recline in style after your big day, and spend carefree time with the one you love. This one-of-a-kind suite is the ultimate Knysna honeymoon destination as it epitomises luxury and romance on the banks of Thesen Island. With high ceilings, modern yet classic finishes and a magnificent stand-alone bath tub, this suite is the ultimate way to express your love. Situated on the top floor, each window frames an exquisite view; could you think of a better place to start your life together?

Stretch out on the plush king-size bed, enjoy the expansive ensuite bathroom, and toast to the one you love from your customised mini bar fridge. For extra comfort, the room also has air-conditioning, satellite TV and a number of other amenities. The standout feature is the spacious lounge and bar area, which allows additional privacy and comfort. The addition of a double shower and large bathtub are what make this Knysna Honeymoon Suite that much sweeter. Enjoy the sunset over the canals of Thesen Island and soak in the beauty of the distant hills, side-by-side with the one you love. Amenities: Flat screen 32″ TV; DVD player; Desk; Telephone; Wi-Fi; Mini bar; Tea & coffee station; Microwave

Lagoon or Canal Suite

If you are on the lookout for private, luxury accommodation in Knysna, look no further than the stunning Lagoon and Canal Suites - your home away from home. Situated a small distance from the main hotel, the open plan Lagoon Suite boasts sweeping views of the marina, Knysna Heads and spectacular estuary. This self-contained unit is complete with a luxurious double bed, and is just secluded enough to offer that extra bit of privacy, but near enough to have full access to all the hotel’s facilities and amenities. The second self-contained suite adjacent to the main hotel, the Canal Suite features canal views and the same modern comforts as the hotel, along with an open-plan kitchen complete with microwave, espresso machine and fridge/freezer.

Whether you want to stretch out in the comfort of your own private living room, or laze by the hotel pool, the Lagoon and Canal Suites offer all the flexibility you need. Perfect for a couple looking for a romantic getaway, this stylish and exclusive self-contained accommodation in Knysna offers a quiet respite from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. For a Knysna holiday at your own pace, book the Lagoon or Canal Suite today. Amenities: Dishwasher; Fridge/Freezer; Microwave; Washing machine; Flat screen 32″ TV; DVD player; Desk; Telephone; Wi-Fi.

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Food & Drink

Gastro Pub

Built around the hotel’s fifth turbine, the Gastro Pub boasts exceptional views, a laid-back setting and a tantalizing, gourmet finger food menu. If you’re looking for a gourmet pub experience with good value, and delicious food in comfortable surroundings, then you’ve come to the right place. Set alongside the Island Cafe, the Gastro Pub features a sunny deck that boasts a view of the marina, making it the perfect place to catch a legendary sunset over the Knysna lagoon.

The warm and elegant decor of this restaurant in Knysna is well accented with the high ceilings and thick stone walls. In the centre of the room, stands an impressive mahogany bar and an assortment of comfortable armchairs and banquets are conveniently placed – staying in line with the quirky yet classic tone of this luxury Knysna hotel. A massive lifting hook and chains dating from the power plant days make an interesting talking point, while large screens make it the ideal location to kick back and enjoy the game. The Gastro Pub is a popular meeting place with a welcoming atmosphere, and hearty, delicious gastro pub fare. Sample the tempting range of craft beers too, or savour one of South Africa’s world-class wines.

Island Café

The Island Café at the Turbine Boutique Hotel and Spa is a 90-seater establishment, overlooking the stunning Thesen Island canals and serving up extraordinary dishes from a diverse a la carte menu. Inside, tables are nestled between the original turbines, which have been lovingly restored to create a retro feel.

Majestic glass sliding doors pervade, creating an airy feel, while warm open fireplaces are strategically placed for those chilly winter months. Outside, the tables overlook either the canal, or the beautiful pool deck. The 90-seater Island Café serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, and rivals the restaurants Knysna has to offer with a wide choice of carefully prepared dishes for all occasions. The lovely terrace is perfect for al fresco dining, while the airy interior with its colourful chairs will keep you cosy on cooler days. The dinner menu changes often, and includes healthy eating options, classics with an imaginative new twist and decadent desserts.