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“Please read me and ignore the next review”

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Turbine Hotel & Spa
Ranked #6 of 30 Hotels in Knysna
Certificate of Excellence
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
23 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Please read me and ignore the next review”
Reviewed March 20, 2012

Apparently the person that wrote the previous review was at the hotel around the same time as my family and me. Apparently we had very different experiences and I always wonder if guests check in with the correct attitude. I would guess that some of the reviewers have not travelled much around South Africa, or the world for that matter if they find the service that appalling. You have NO idea how bad it can get and should consider yourself blessed that properties like the Turbine exist to dispel the other disappointments available. Thesen's Island is a quiet, residential, vacation community and the hotel is doing it's best to blend into the surrounding community. A hotel in a power plant? Really, you've seen this done well before? The rooms are NOT large, but I find them on the par of most large chain hotels in South Africa and would hate to see people ignore this lovely property because of the room size.
The rooms were spotless, the service flawless. The baths had separate showers, not always the case in SA. Nothing was too much trouble and the staff were willing to do anything to please. While we did not eat at the restaurant in the hotel for anything but breakfast, the food in the mornings was delicious and well prepared. The coffee was delightfully strong and ALWAYS served with a smile. If you are looking for a more upbeat vibe to your evenings, the water front in Knysna is only a 15 minute walk over the bridge and has a large number of offerings for anyone's taste.
If you like something "special" when you travel, this is the hotel for you.

Room Tip: The rooms facing the pool/water are worth the extra bit as they have a balcony for evening glasses o...
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Nancy N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AllanHeard, General Manager at Turbine Hotel & Spa, responded to this review, March 22, 2012
Dear Guest,

I am pleased that you enjoyed your stay at the Turbine Hotel and Spa and that you appreciate the tranformation of this Heritage Site from a Power Station into a 5 Star Boutique Hotel on Thesen Islands. We strive to meet and exceed expectations at all times and deliver high quality service with a Smile.
I look forward to welcoming you back to the Turbine Hotel and Spa.

Kind regards,

Allan Heard
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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551 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (89)
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English first
Level Contributor
24 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed March 18, 2012

The worst so called "5 star" experience ever. Will rather recommend a self catering villa to enjoy the beauty of Thesen Island where you are not ripped off like at the Turbine Hotel. It is such a shame to do such damage to South African hospitality like this hotel is doing. All that I can say is stay away from this hotel if you do not want to waste your money and holiday experience.......they even charge you for the soap you use in the room and the Island Cafe restaurant a complete ripp off where you pay a fortune for disgusting cuisine. And please ignore the specials they have on the website as it is absolute false advertising.

  • Stayed March 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Jacquesdi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AllanHeard, General Manager at Turbine Hotel & Spa, responded to this review, March 23, 2012
Dear Guest,

We pride ourselves on being a 5 Star Boutique Hotel and delivering service of the highest quality. It is unfortunate that you feel we have not done so on this occassion, even though you did not at any time lodge a complaint, and you even stated that you would reccommend us, until you were informed that the minibar was not complimentary and that the room amenities connot be removed as these are for sale in our Curio shop.
The Island Cafe is a very popular restaurant and is well supported by tourists as well as Knysna locals and is value for money.
The packages and specials that we advertise include precisely what is stated and we encourage guests to make use of these to enjoy a complete Knysna experience.

Kind regards,

Allan Heard
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, Canada
Level Contributor
153 reviews
54 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 116 helpful votes
Reviewed February 1, 2012

My wife and I stayed here on a work trip and we really enjoyed our stay. The hotel is very unique with a great pool, big rooms and it is situated in a great little shopping/restaurant district. My wife took some time out of her busy work schedule to enjoy the spa and came back completely relaxed.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Canadian G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Netherlands
Level Contributor
57 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed January 13, 2012

This is a very unusual, interesting hotel that has been tastefully created around a former power generating plant. All facilities you might expect of this class of hotel are there.

One word of warning for foreign visitors though: the Turbine Hotel hotel, Thesen Island as a whole and a large part of Knysna effectively comprise a rarified holiday environment for rich, urban South Africans. This translated into an environment that my family compared to ''a cross between Florida Spring Break and the Stepford Wives". They pleaded with me to cut our stay short and check out early.

Last word to note: the cancellation policy (at least during the high season) is simply Draconian compared to global hotel norms (100% charge if cancellation within 14 days, 50% within a month etc). Best be 100% sure of the visit.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Poorty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AllanHeard, General Manager at Turbine Hotel & Spa, responded to this review, February 1, 2012
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your kind words regarding the Turbine Hotel and Spa and it's unique offering. Our cancellation policy is in place as a guideline and every situation is adressed individually depending on circumstances. I regret to learn that you did not enjoy Thesen Islands and Knysna as it is an extremely popular holiday and lifestyle destination.

On your next visit to the Garden Route please contact me personally and I will arrange some of the hidden treasures on Thesen Islands that are not always visible to mainstream tourists such as our Turbine kayak excursions.

Kind regards,

Allan Heard
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Strathaven, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
38 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed November 8, 2011

The Turbine Hotel is situated on Thesen Island in Knysna, South Africa. I visited this very unique hotel, with my husband, for our belated 25th wedding anniversary in September. The hotel was originally a Power Station, and was converted into a beautiful botique hotel, which opened in August 2010.The hotel has 24 bedrooms, including 7 suites, with fabulous bathrooms. The Turbine bar is lovely and cosy, but was very quiet when we visited. The Island Cafe restaurant is perfectly situated overlooking the canal, and the food served at both breakfast and dinner is of excellent quality. There are excellent restaurants, shops and activities on Thesen Islands, all within 5 minutes walk of The Turbine. Well worth a visit.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Elaine S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Knysna, South Africa
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed August 31, 2011

What a fabulous destination - we have often enjoyed lunch at the Turbine Hotel on Thesen Island and as it was our anniversary, we decided to stay overnight even though we live in nearby Wilderness.

Our suite, the service, attention to detail and food were all top notch - even the sunset did not disappoint.

I would definitely recommend the Turbine for anyone looking for a unique venue and wonderful experience.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Everyone-is-a-Critic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lake Macquarie, Australia
Level Contributor
87 reviews
61 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
Reviewed July 27, 2011

We stayed at the Turbine during our recent visit to South Africa. It was unique and magical. Everything was so tastefully done and made this hotel really different. Alot of thought went into renovating this old power station in a magnificent hotel. Our room was beautiful with wonderful views. The staff were very helpful and the food divine. Even the managers wife chipped and waited on tables and showed guests to their rooms. The painting in the hotel are to die for and I wished that I had had a big enough suitecase to bring some of them home with me. It was very cold during our stay, but the two big fire places in the dining room added a cheery warmth to the atmosphere. I would stay here again.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Meredith95
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Turbine Hotel & Spa

Property: Turbine Hotel & Spa
Address: 36 Sawtooth Lane | Thesen Islands, Knysna 6571, South Africa
Phone Number:
Location: South Africa > Western Cape > Knysna
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 30 Hotels in Knysna
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Turbine Hotel & Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 24
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Turbine Hotel and Spa was an ambitious project which transformed the old power station into a unique 5 star boutique hotel with a massive wow factor. The Turbine Hotel is surrounded by water on three sides. The Hotel comprises of the Island Café & Tapas Bar, as well as twenty five individually themed suites of the highest standard. The Amani Spa offers the ultimate escape for pure self-indulgence. The Turbine Water Club offers al fresco dining from our deli, oysters from our champagne bar and a wide variety of activities on both land and the Knysna lagoon. ... more   less 
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