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“A unique, fascinating pearl located in Knysna's Garden of Eden.....”

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The Turbine Boutique Hotel and Spa
Ranked #5 of 30 Hotels in Knysna
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 14, 2014

Located on Thesen Island on the edge of the Knysna Lagoon, the Turbine is a fascinating, insight into how to give a power station a complete, maverick, boutique make-over. The luxury and attention to detail are there but these are entwined around huge gaily painted 1700kw alternators, huge wood furnaces and throughout the hotel are the original mechanical and electrical switching boards. The staff were always eager to please and so friendly, nothing ever seemed to be too much trouble....truly a must-stay venue!

Room Tip: We were fortunate enough to secure a room with a balcony that overlooked the pool and Marina waterwa...
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  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank DaveDullstroom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Peter D, General Manager at The Turbine Boutique Hotel and Spa, responded to this reviewResponded March 16, 2014

Dear DaveDullstroom
Thank You! What a great review. Until the Turbine Hotel opened, this was an industrial site, which only staff could enter. So much of Knysna's rich history was locked behind those gates, which we are now having such fun sharing with our local, national and overseas guests.
While exploring Knysna's past, we are adding top class restaurant's in Island Café as well as beautifully decorated rooms to enjoy the surroundings.

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423 - 429 of 615 reviews

Reviewed March 12, 2014

We hadn't booked and got an excellent rate for a late afternoon arrival, having looked at other places on Thesen Island. Our reception was very welcoming. The hotel is intriguing having been the original turbine house and my husband was fascinated by the newly painted machinery which gave the hotel a very unusual and interesting atmosphere. The rooms were beautifully decorated with bits of machinery in evidence here and there and the bedlinen was of the highest quality. The only problem that we found was that, having asked if the rooms were quiet and being assured that they were, one of our group of four had to go downstairs at midnight to ask the staff to make less noise, it appeared that they were having a good time whilst off duty! At breakfast we were very disappointed with rather sloppy service and complained to the manager not only about this but about the night time disturbances. He was very apologetic, but it left us feeling that what should have been a unique 5* experience was somewhat lacking.

Room Tip: Hopefully all rooms will benefit from peaceful nights after our experience, but do ask the question...
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  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank CBEGocek
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Peter D, General Manager at The Turbine Boutique Hotel and Spa, responded to this reviewResponded March 12, 2014

Dear CBEGocek
Thank you for reviewing the Turbine Hotel & Spa. I am so happy that you enjoyed the unusual concept of the hotel, and got to relive a slice of Knysna's history and heritage. Being situated where we are on the very beautiful Knysna Lagoon and Thesen Island, is such an added bonus. Just 20 meters away from the breakfast room is the Knysna lagoon.
I do apologise for the evening staff's unacceptable noise level when they were leaving their evening shift, as well as the service levels at breakfast. The matter has been addressed at a very serious level. This is definitely not the very high standards, that is normally given to all of our valued guests.

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Reviewed March 9, 2014

Spent over a week in The Turbine Hotel in December and Janueary and loved the uniqueness of the hotel, the staff friendliness and the atmosphere this quaint hotel added to my trip. Would recommend The Turbine to anyone looking for a friendly and warm place to stay. Thank you for making my stay special!

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled solo
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Thank Chris_83Jozi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Peter D, General Manager at The Turbine Boutique Hotel and Spa, responded to this reviewResponded March 11, 2014

Dear Chris_83Jozi
Thank you for your great review of The Turbine Hotel. It's so nice to hear that the staff looked after you really well. We have an amazing concept in the beautiful of Knysna Lagoon and Thesen Island town. Should you, your family or friends be coming our way anytime soon, please give us a call and let us spoil them, "the Turbine way".

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Reviewed March 4, 2014

The Turbine Hotel on Thesen Island is an old power Station modified to a modern hotel. The building and the rooms are well designed, interiour fits to the building. You cannot expect vivid life but to enjoy the South African way of Relaxing. A fine recommendatio to calm down and enjoy he beautiful Knysna Environment.

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Edmund-Zuber
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Peter D, General Manager at The Turbine Boutique Hotel and Spa, responded to this reviewResponded March 5, 2014

Dear Edmund-Zuber
Thank you for your good review of The Turbine Hotel. Knysna and it's surrounds is all about natural beauty and nature. I am happy that you got to relax and enjoy the unique atmosphere that our unique hotel has to offer. Each room is individually decorated and themed to some of the many attractions and history that makes Knysna so special.

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Reviewed March 3, 2014

We spent two nights in this unique Hotel and we just loved it! The staff is wonderful and the food delicious. We also appreciated the pool. Our room was quite small but the sleep quality was perfect. The breakfast however should offer a wider variety. Otherwise we were entirely satisfied.

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank Tiger49
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Peter D, General Manager at The Turbine Boutique Hotel and Spa, responded to this reviewResponded March 11, 2014

Dear Tiger49
Thank you ever so much for reviewing The Turbine Hotel. I will certainly pass on your kind compliments to our hardworking, but ever friendly staff. Being able to work in our amazing environment, with so much heritage and Knysna history around us, makes coming to work a really fun experience every day.

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Reviewed March 3, 2014

We stayed three days in this modern clean and very comfortable hotel. The staff were friendly and most helpful. The atmosphere is casual, and the food in both the Island Cafe and the Hotel Dining Room is great, much better than "just hotel dining". The tapas for lunch were excellent, and the cooked breakfasts were wonderful. The hotel is in a converted power station, and for us that added to the quirky charm of the place. It is located of the waterfront of Thesen Island with great views of the lagoon and very handy for the rest of the town and the main attractions. Very much worth a visit and a great base fir the area.

Room Tip: Ask for a lagoon view, ( most rooms have this)
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  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank ArthurD634
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Peter D, General Manager at The Turbine Boutique Hotel and Spa, responded to this reviewResponded March 5, 2014

Dear ArthurD
Thank to so much for your kind comments about your stay at The Turbine Hotel. There is so much about the hotel that is different, unique and exciting. Using Turbine as a base to explore the many beautiful attractions of Thesen Island, Knysna and the greater Garden route is ideal. so many of these areas are within walking distance or within an hours drive from the hotel.
New chef Andrew is producing amazing dishes from his kitchen, and is motivated into making our Island Café restaurant, a must visit eating experience while staying in Knysna.
Please visit us again on your next visit to our country, or feel free to recommend us to family and friends.

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Reviewed March 3, 2014

It is painful to feel the need to give a less than favorable rating to a hotel that has so much good going for it, and it is difficult to decide where to begin with the positives for this "Four Star" facility, although the warm and cheerful reception with welcoming libation, is as good a place as any. The staff was attentive to a fault throughout our three night stay.

We had advised our South African travel agent that we wanted a mix of first rate hotels and "Boutique" residences. As it developed, it was clear that the Turbine is probably more "Kinky" than "Boutique".

The imaginative team that rescued this century old plywood factory and power plant is to rewarded for their ingenuity in redesigning the space, and in making visible the disassembled and artfully rearranged pieces of its skeleton, consisting of the original pipes, gauges, boilers, valves, chains, and signs from the early twentieth century. It is worth a visit, if only to look.

But to stay?

A bedroom so small, that you can't walk around the far side of the bed. Your already narrow path is even further hampered by the lovely telescope that they have provided for star gazing. A real toe stubber in the event of a middle of the night visit to the loo. To get to the bath towel for a shower, you must first locate it, far from the shower stall itself, at the far end of the bathtub, protected from easy reach by the furnishings, forcing the prospective bather to climb over the tub's (approximately) two foot side and walk in the tub to its other end, and after grabbing the towel backing up untill finally finding a place to climb out of the tub. And, although the hotel is "eco friendly" and they urge you to hang up your towels if you don't need to have them replaced each day, there are no places to hang towels.

WiFi is free, BUT you time out after using somewhere between only 250 and 500 mb (just enough to send a couple of photos to family or to download the morning paper), after which you are logged out and need to log in again, with a new username and a new password. A nuisance in this day and age, and, in fact, a royal pain in the you know where. The reception will give you the new data as often as you need it, and I was eventually given a stack of usernames and passwords for my use. This was a good thing too, since at the end of day two, the second floor lost telephone service, including contact with the front desk, and that wasn't going to be fixed until the next day.

If you value bathroom and toilet privacy, room 204 isn't for you. It does have a "terrace", but there is no view beyond walls and rooftops.

Our room was quite warm, and it did not respond to the air conditioner's remote, resulting in one very hot, sleepless, night. The cheerful lady from reception couldn't get it to go on either, until, finally, the, cheerful as usual, manager reset the entire works, giving us a final comfortable night.

So my final rating: Five stars for a walk around, a little less than four stars for a one night stay and a trial run, otherwise 2.5.

Stayed: February 2014, traveled with family
1  Thank DrbobG1935
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Peter D, General Manager at The Turbine Boutique Hotel and Spa, responded to this reviewResponded March 11, 2014

Dear Drbobgold
Thank you for your very balanced review of The Turbine Hotel. We do have an amazing building to work within. so much of Knysna's history and heritage could have ended in a pile of scrap metal, if the owners had not taken the very brave decision to restore the old power station so meticulously and with such a degree of integrity. It really is a "must visit" in Knysna.
Oh dear! I am so sorry that the Turbine Hotel room, did not tick all of the boxes for you. We have taken your comments about some of the room problems on board and are already changing towel rail positions, where the telescope is positioned, etc. This has already made a big difference.

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Additional Information about The Turbine Boutique Hotel and Spa

Address: 36 Sawtooth Lane | Thesen Islands, Knysna 6570, South Africa
Phone Number:
Location: South Africa > Western Cape > Knysna
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 30 Hotels in Knysna
Price Range: $173 - $299 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — The Turbine Boutique Hotel and Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 26
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 restaurant and Gastro Pub, as well as twenty six individually themed rooms and suites of the highest standard. The Turbine Spa offers pampering treatments to indulge and relax weary souls, while the Turbine Water Club arranges lagoon cruises, whale watching, forest hikes, city tours and mountain biking for adventure seekers and explorers. ... more   less 
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