The Turbine Hotel & Spa

Knysna, Garden Route, South Africa

At a Glance

  • Hire a kayak and explore the lagoon

  • Enjoy a dozen celebrated Knysna oysters straight from the tidal lagoon

  • Take a picnic and explore the ancient forests around Knysna

  • Watch Southern Right Whales from the Knysna Heads

  • Visit The Turbine's Amani Spa and enjoy a relaxing treatment

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Garden Route enjoys a moderate climate all year round. In peak summer season, from December to February, temperatures can climb as high as 34ºC, although winter temperatures can drop to as low as 4ºC. Generally, this season has many sunny days with high wind at times. During the winter months of June, July, and August, expect frequent rains and a couple of chilly evenings. From June to December, the Southern Right Whale (Eubalaena australis) graces the Garden Route coast with its massive presence.

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Insider's View

Dine by candlelight at the Thyssen table, sandwiched between two gigantic turbines!

Take a ferry trip on the lagoon to the edge of the ocean for some whale watching!

Children will love the playground while their parents enjoy the pizza restaurant, Col Cacchio

To start planning your holiday to The Turbine Hotel & Spa


The Turbine Hotel is situated on Thesen Island, in the scenic Knysna Lagoon. Thesen Island is linked by a causeway and bridge to the mainland, and is within easy walking distance of the scenic waterfront, yacht harbour and town of Knysna.

The Turbine Hotel has been born out of an ambitious project to redevelop Knysna's old power station into a very unique boutique hotel. Much of the old machinery has been restored and incorporated into the architecture and interiors of the hotel. The Turbine Hotel intelligently creates a blend between the functional and industrial fabric of the building, with all of the luxuries one could wish for in a boutique hotel.

Just twenty-five suites make up the accommodation. Each room has been crafted individually, all are en-suite with separate baths and showers and his and hers vanities.

Set in the sheltered Knysna lagoon, The Turbine is surrounded by water on three sides, creating a marina atmosphere unlike that found in other areas of the Garden Route. Knysna itself is a short walk from The Turbine, the small town boasts a great selection of restaurants and bars. Approximately 15 minutes drive to the east of Knysna are the fantastic beaches of Plettenberg Bay.

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The Turbine offers a varied choice of accommodation options: 17 suites, six luxury suites and a honeymoon suite. For those who prefer a self-catering option, the Water Club apartment is an excellent choice. The rooms all have individual decor, a spacious king bed and air-conditioning. The en-suite has both a shower and bath.


There are two restaurants at The Turbine; The Tapas Bar, serving light meals, and The Island Cafe, offering a la carte dining. Three bar areas in different settings around the hotel offer Guests a variety of options to enjoy a coffee or drink whilst taking in the beautiful scenery of the surrounding area.

The Turbine Deli & Oyster bar is located at the Turbine Water Club, it is a relaxed environment offering quality local produce, Knysna's tidal lagoon is famous for its oyster beds.


The Turbine Water Club is the location from which Knysna activities, including boat cruises, fishing and whale watching can be organised.

Knysna is perfectly positioned to take advantage of all the Garden Route has to offer, whether that be on the Indian Ocean or in the dramatic landscapes that dominate this part of South Africa.



Anna Hearn (Staff)

The Turbine is like nothing we have ever seen before its built around the old power station in Knysna, on Thyssen Island. Evidence of the hotels previous incarnation is everywhere and gives the hotel a 1960s Bond villain feel the original power station equipment is still in place and almost invades every single room obviously it is all decommissioned but is still painted in the same colours and every single dial and button and switch has been restored to its former glory. Walking around the hotel is just fascinating, especially for those with a scientific or engineering bent. Choose to have your lunch or supper sitting underneath or between the main large turbines if you wish! Outside is a lovely pool overlooking Thyssen Islands beautiful seaside homes, and inside the bar area is decorated with memorabilia from the 2010 world cup which the owners attended. Its an extraordinary place, not to everyones taste, but a fascinating little slice of Knysna history which has been lovingly restored.


  • Birds of Eden

    Birds of Eden is the world's largest free-flight bird aviary. The aviary is home to about 3,500 birds representing over 200 species.

  • Black Water Tubing - Green Route

    Explore the beauty of Tsitsikamma's Plaatbos Nature Reserve through a fun combination of tubing and stand-up paddle boarding.

  • Black Water Tubing - Red Route

    For those who are thrilled with adventure, this is a unforgettable way to explore Tsitsikamma's Goesa Nature Reserve as you journey through beautiful forest and cliff sceneries which opens up to the spectacular Storms River Mouth.

  • Boat Trip on Storms River

    If you like to be on the water, then this boat trip will get you up close and personal to the stunning Storms River. Afterwards, walk through the forest to the suspension bridge.

  • Fynbos Flower Safari

    The Cape Floral Region has the highest concentration of plant species in the world. Staggeringly this recognised UNESCO World Heritage Site holds three times the diversity of species than the Amazon rainforest.

  • Great White Shark Cage Diving

    Great white shark cage diving is an experience like no other. To get up close to the ocean's number one predator in its natural environment is a humbling experience you will never forget.

  • Hog Hollow Horse Riding - Farm Trail

    This one-hour farm trail takes you through open terrains and fields.

  • Hog Hollow Horse Riding - Forest Trail

    This two-hour forest trail takes you through the ancient Tsitsikamma rainforest.

  • Horse Riding in the Cape

    Enjoy exploring the dramatic landscapes of South Africa on horseback, an experience to be included on any visit.

  • Monkeyland - Plettenberg Bay

    Monkeyland is a unique primate sanctuary that rehabilitates and frees previously caged primates. All of the monkeys here move about the forest freely and peacefully and allow you to view them as they would bee seen in their natural habitat.

  • Mossel Bay

    Make a brief stop at Mossel Bay for the world-famous Post Office Tree at the Dias Museum Complex.

  • Paddle Up Storms River

    If you like to be on the water, then this two to three-hour kayak adventure will get you up close and personal to the stunning Storms River. Afterwards, walk through the forest to the suspension bridge.

  • Plettenberg Bay Game Reserve

    Plettenberg Bay Game Reserve is the largest game reserve in the Southern Cape and is in the perfect location for anyone who wants to experience a one day, big game viewing experience along the Garden Route.

  • Quad Biking at the Wineries

    This route takes you through Hamilton Russel Vineyards & South Right wineries into the Fernklook Nature Reserve.

  • Robberg Peninsula Walk

    The Robberg Peninsula is an outcrop of land from the western side of Plettenberg Bay. The Peninsula is now a nature reserve and a marine protected area which makes for spectacular scenery, wildlife, flora and fauna.

  • Sea Kayaking at Hermanus

    An adventurous 2-hour sea kayaking experience as you paddle along the coastline with opportunities to encounter sea creatures.

  • Tenikwa Wildlife Awareness Centre

    Tenikwa Wildlife Awareness Centre at Plettenberg Bay offers guests a truly unique wildcat experience as they are taken on a guided tour of cheetah, leopard, serval, caracal and other wildcats, baboons and birds.

  • Whale watching on the Western Cape

    Southern right whales visit the Western Cape from about June to December every year. These beautiful gentle giants congregate to the shores of Hermanus all the way along the coast line towards Plettenberg Bay.

Holiday Ideas

  • Garden Route Safari for Young Families

    Eastern Cape, Garden Route, Grootbos Reserve & Cape Town

    from SGD $8500 pp 10 nights

    • A malarial free Big 5 safari destination
    • Great game viewing and guiding
    • Loads of great activities for the children

Location & directions

Knysna, Garden Route, South Africa

The Turbine Hotel in Knysna is situated on Thesen Island which is considered one of the most the prestigious locations on the Garden Route.

Speak to our specialists 3165 4050

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