I love discovering beautifully decorated spaces, especially when there is a quirky element at play! The Turbine Hotel & Spa is all this and more; a space celebrating contemporary design, interwoven with the history of the area.
Knysna and more especially Thesen Island, has always been one of my favourite destinations on the Garden Route. There is so much to do in the area, especially if you are an outdoor enthusiast.
We have often rented self-catering accommodation on Thesen Island, but this was my first time staying at the Turbine Hotel.
The 5-star luxury Boutique Hotel is housed in the shell of the former power station, in the centre of Thesen Island. An original wood boiler, four electricity generators, as well as a great deal of industrial equipment, have all been restored and made to blend seamlessly with the decor in the hotel.
Guests can choose from seventeen standard rooms, six luxury rooms, a honeymoon suite or two self-contained suites. Six of the rooms boast balconies, with stunning views of the canal.
Each room is unique and beautifully decorated. Decor themes are in keeping with the industrial style that runs throughout the hotel, ultimately embracing the heritage of the building.
Something I really loved about staying at the Turbine is that almost everything you need is within walking distance of the hotel.
After checking in, however, there is not much reason to venture far from the hotel! The Turbine boasts its own Spa, Gastro Pub, as well as a 90-seater restaurant – the Island Cafe.
The Island Café has a stunning outside terrace, perfect for al fresco dining, as well as an airy, vibrant interior. Menu options range from breakfasts to light lunches, as well as gourmet dinners. Choose from a table overlooking the canal, or one nestled between the original refurbished turbines.
For sundowners or pub-style dishes, the Gastro Pub is the ideal spot. After a day spent exploring Knysna, the deck, overlooking the canal, is the place to unwind with either a cocktail or a craft beer.
The Turbine Spa
The spa at the Turbine offers a wide range of body, facial and beauty treatments. Spa guests can choose from either single or double treatment rooms. Spa highlights include the Rasul Steam Room, as well as a Spa Massage Pedi Chair – where you can enjoy a heavenly back massage while having a pedicure.
- Explore Knysna by bike and rent a bicycle from the Turbine Water Club. It is not a guided tour, but in my opinion, the perfect way to explore the area. From the pristine forests, mountains and coastal routes, Knysna is a fantastic biking destination. Helmets and locks are provided with your rental.
- I also recommend a luxury cruise on the Turbine motorised Pontoon barge. It includes a round trip on the Knysna lagoon, past the scenic Featherbed restaurant, turning at the Knysna Heads before returning to the Turbine Waterclub.
- The Featherbed Eco Tour is a must to add to your travel agenda. A fire in the area in 2017, although devastating, created the perfect opportunity to remove all the alien vegetation from the reserve. We visited the sanctuary during our stay at the hotel, and it is looking as stunning as ever. The Eco Tour is the ideal way to explore the Featherbed Nature Reserve, as well as the Knysna Lagoon. The four hour Eco Tour includes a lagoon cruise, a 4 x 4 drive to the top of the Western Head, a guided nature walk, as well as a delicious buffet lunch. The cost is for the tour is R700 for adults and R192 for children aged 4 to 15 years.
- For outdoor enthusiasts “The Circles in the Forest Hike”, or more famously known as Kringe n Bos, situated in the Goldfield (“Goudveld”) forest in Knysna, is not to be missed. Choose between two routes, either a short 3.1km circle route or a 9km circle route. We did the 9km, which requires a moderate effort level, while the 3km can be done at a relaxed, gentle pace. The trail starts at the Krisjan-Sse-Nek picnic site walk is scenic and beautiful, exploring the dense forest. You will also come across a natural rock pool and waterfall and may even be lucky enough to spot the infamous Knysna Loerie – we, unfortunately, were not.
As I mentioned I love spending time in Knysna and the Garden Route. I enjoyed every minute of my time at the Turbine Hotel, as well as the trip to the Featherbed Restaurant.
We are heading back to the area in December, this time for a family getaway and I am really looking forward to it, as well as doing the full Featherbed Eco Tour. Have you visited Knysna recently? I would love to know what you love most about the area – please leave a comment below.
Contact Details & Location
Contact the Turbine Hotel via telephone +27 (0)44 302 5746+27 (0)62 403 0493 or via email [email protected]. Location TH 36 Sawtooth Lane Thesen Islands 6571 Knysna, South Africa GPS Co-ordinates: 34.04861º S; 23.048708º E.
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