Turbine Boutique Hotel Thesen Island Knysna Garden Route

Turbine Boutique Hotel

The 5-star Turbine Boutique Hotel and Spa is situated on Thesen Islands in Knysna. Intuitive architecture pays homage to the old power station it once was.  

Accommodation comprises luxury hotel rooms, standard rooms, a honeymoon suite and two expansive self-contained suites adjacent to the hotel.  Group bookings are welcome for weddings, small conferences, and events. The hotel is also home to the Island Café Restaurant with tables overlooking the canals, pool deck or nestled between the original refurbished turbines. The Gastro Pub offers classic pub meals with a delicious twist and lagoon sunset views.  

The Turbine Spa has a wide range of treatments for day visitors as well as hotel guests and, the hotel’s very own adventure centre, the Turbine Water Club, arranges a variety of water and land-based activities such as lagoon cruises, forest walks, city tours and bicycle hire.

Contact details:

Tel: +27 (0)44 302 5746 / Email: reservations@turbinehotel.co.za   


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An interesting and steamy history

Knysna has a rich history spanning sailing ships, gold discovery and timber extraction to arguably become South Africa’s favorite holiday destination.

The Khoisan people originally inhabited the area until Dutch Settlers arrived in the 17th century. Knysna’s documented history began in 1804 with the arrival of George Rex, rumored to be the illegitimate son of King George III who subsequently opened shops, established a port and a timber business that exported hardwoods around the world.

The Thesen family moved from Norway to Knysna in 1870 and founded numerous business entities in the town, and in 1904 Charles William Thesen bought Paarden Island (now named Thesen Islands) and began processing timber on the Islands in 1922. Wood waste from the timber mill was subsequently used to start a power station which generated electricity from turbines and this eventually supplied the towns of Knysna and Plettenberg Bay with electricity until the mid 1970’s.

The various structures were relocated around the island, often without documented plans, and were part of the Eskom power grid for many years. The current power station site, which now hosts the Turbine Boutique Hotel & Spa and Island Café, was built in 1939/1940.

Alarge industrial conglomerate, Barlows, purchased the logging operations on the Island in 1974 …read more about the history of Thesen Island and the Turbine Boutique Hotel.

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