Group Convenience at the Turbine Hotel & Spa in Knysna

A man casually sails past me in his kayak cutting through the glass-smooth canal water. The sun is finally out in Knysna and I’ve snuck off to the deck to catch up on some mails in the morning light. A group of young visitors sit sipping Castle Lites at 10am, it seems they’re still on a roll from last night’s gathering in the gastropub next door.

With soft South African music playing off their mobiles, some couples lounge in the sun next to the pool while others finish off their breakfasts. As the lovers start to snooze in the warm light a man walks out, pulls off his t-shirt and plunges straight into the turquoise deck pool. I’m not sure which I’m more afraid of – beers for breakfast or an ice-cold plunge pool in Autumn!

Our server is wonderful and cheerfully brings out our orange juice and breakfast. While the other guests feel right at home, this is our first visit to the Turbine Hotel and we are finally seeing the unique canal centric architecture under sunny blue skies.

Turbine Hotel in Thesen Island

Located at two main canal points, opposite a circle of restaurants on the dock, the Turbine Hotel offers central accommodation on Thesen Island for those passing through Knynsa with their friends or family. The hotel is an eclectic mix of historical Knysna art, painted chairs and chandeliers, high ceilings and old power station equipment upcycled for modern living. Just the day before we sat tucked beneath the old generator enjoying our breakfast as the rain gently fell outside.

Having grown up next to Southern Hemisphere’s former biggest power station in Oranjemund, I have an appreciation for old converted buildings. Acknowledging the past while moving into the future, and nothing could be more true than the exquisite cross-section of Knynsa Forrest tree that decorates the hotel’s entrance. Cleverly, they’ve placed a perspex timeline that explains how the tree’s rings were aligned with significant South African points of history. Make sure to read this beautiful piece of work if you do happen to visit. (For context, I’m 173cm! This tree is incredible


Our standard room was en suite and includes both a large bath, shower and his and hers sinks. A comfortable, large bed, air conditioning, desk, wifi, large bath and shower made for a comfortable stay, however, we recommend asking for a room with a view in order to get the most out of the charming canal views.

We were also tickled by the fact the rooms included a DVD player! As well as a sink above the bar fridge, which we suspect is used for coffee-making as there aren’t any other kitchen utensils or appliances. This would be useful for coffee making or perhaps rinsing out wine glasses which are also provided. 


Turbine Hotel Boat Cruises in Knysna

The Turbine Boutique Hotel and Spa has their own sports kiosk, which includes a number of outdoor water activities. On our first day of arrival, we hopped onto a boat and had an excellent tour of the lagoon with our tour guide.

The ticket price of R550 per person includes a bottle of wine and large snack platter, making the adventure all the more fun. While the weather was a little bit gloomy, the ride was exquisite due to the spectacular views of the hotel, island and Knysna heads and we learnt so much through our friendly guide, Keith. We even saw a Loerie (Knysna Turaco)! This boat trip was a highlight of our stay at the Turbine Hotel.


Final Impression

The Turbine Boutique Hotel and Spa offers a number of different rooms including standard hotel rooms (ours above), honeymoon suites and self-catering suites, which makes it great for families or friends traveling who need different requirements in their accommodation.

The reception, lounge and restaurant are all large, again suiting larger groups who are keen to travel. While there are little corners, which allows privacy for couples, the nature of the hotel is eclectic and fun. There is also a spa on-site for use of body and beauty treatments for those not wanting to pursue outdoor, water adventures. 

We were impressed by the food for both breakfast and dinner, as the hotel was busy for breakfasts and quieter for dinner, yet the staff remained cheerful, polite and the food was quick, hot and delicious.

Winter Specials

The Turbine is offering special discounted rates (per person sharing per night) – Midweek (Monday to Thursday) less 21% and Weekend (Friday to Sunday) less 10% – valid until 31 August 2021, subject to availability. T’s & C’s apply.

To book call Reservations on 044 302 5746 or email

Thank you to the Turbine Hotel & Spa for furnishing our stay.



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