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“Knysna Secret” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Turbine Hotel & Spa

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Turbine Hotel & Spa
Ranked #6 of 30 Hotels in Knysna
Certificate of Excellence
Perth
Level Contributor
40 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Knysna Secret”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 April 2014 via mobile

The Hotel is an experience and even if you don't stay here make sure you visit.
The secret is the Resturant. The food is exceptional yet on most days the place is quiet. The average tourist heads for the waterfront yet the meals here are better and a more sophisticated environment. Great service. Recommend.
Try the steak!!! Good wine list.

Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank RealRick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Peter D, General Manager at Turbine Hotel & Spa, responded to this review, 8 April 2014
Dear RealRick
Thank you for giving Turbine Hotel such a great review. The restaurant is a secret that is fast getting around town.
Chef Andrew is constantly designing fresh new dishes and sourcing some amazing local produce. We are all about making dining out with us a total experience starting with good friendly service, an interesting extensive wine list and dishes that you want to come back for.
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539 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
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (86)
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leeds
Level Contributor
20 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 March 2014

So this is a hotel built out of a former power plant, and the owners have kept the theme going. I must say it works very well, and the hotel looks visually stunning, whilst all of the walls and fittings have some sort of mechanical dial or piping or gauge of some sort fitted on to them, and the 'belly' of the hotel in the lounge has all of the massive turbines still intact, restored to their former glory. The theme idea is great and really is carried off well as I've seen theme hotels go quite wrong in other parts of the world (Vegas), where overall the place ended up looking quite tacky.

The rooms were spotlessly clean, and were very high spec and what I would class as luxury rooms. Very impressive.

Now for the bad part, the main problem I had with this hotel during my 3 day stay here was the service within the hotel was completely hit and miss, with more emphasis on miss. This is something that is unacceptable for a new hotel that is claiming to be a luxury 5* destination. It goes without saying you need 5* service.

A few examples of this where the number of times we sat down at tables in the main lobby or by the pool only to be completely ignored by the waiting staff who were idlely chatting away behind the bar. Its never a good sign when you are having to continuously go up to the bar and ask for a menu / drink.

Breakfast and dinner was also quite a mission to get anyone to take your order as we repeatedly had to beckon over waiters / waitresses to help us. It was all very frustrating.

I find the lack of good service completely baffling as we went at a quiet time of year, thus we expected the opposite and to be absolutely smothered with attention.

Anyhow, don't get me wrong this is a great hotel and a lot of thought and effort has gone into its design and fit-out, however along the way someone has forgotten the key commandment that hoteliers work in the 'service' industry. A simple fix, and that will make this a truly memorable place to stay.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank happycamper554
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Peter D, General Manager at Turbine Hotel & Spa, responded to this review, 8 April 2014
Dear happycamper554
Thank you for reviewing The Turbine Hotel and giving us some very good comment. Turbine forms such an integral part of Knysna's history. the owners and architect have done an unbelievable job on saving and restoring most of the power stations interesting machinery and equipment. the décor in the rooms have been beautifully balanced to still stay with the industrial theme, but at the same time give a level of chic and sophistication that fits perfectly into our most amazing location on the beautiful Knysna Lagoon.
The service issues that you mention have since your stay in January been addressed. Service staff and management have undergone some intensive and superpositive training courses that has yielded some very promising results in levels of service.
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North Yorkshire, UK
Level Contributor
127 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 March 2014 via mobile

A special trip with friends to a truly special hotel. Service food and the rooms were excellent. Only poor wifi let it down but that was a small price for such an excellent and unusual hotel. I hope that we can return

  • Stayed March 2014
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank YORKSHIREFAMILYHOLS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Peter D, General Manager at Turbine Hotel & Spa, responded to this review, 8 April 2014
Dear YORKSHIREFAMILYHOLS
Your very positive review on Turbine Hotel is so appreciated. Management and staff are very proud to be able to host our guests in such an interesting and unique building. The restored power station equipment, turbines and furnaces are a delight to those generations that spent their working hours surrounded by the sounds and smells of a working power station. Even the old log books and equipment manuals are displayed for all guests and especially the engineers to enjoy.
Please visit us again if you are ever in the area and feel free to recommend us to all your family and friends that get to travel to South Africa and the Garden Route.
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Tampa, Florida
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 March 2014

Fabulous boutique hotel in a beautiful setting but without exception the best service I have ever experienced. An unexpected hospital stay extended our stay by two nights. Every member of the staff jumped through hoops to help us through a difficult situation. From making a doc apt and taking me there to driving me to the hospital to sending incredibly nutritious beautiful food with family members of just the things I could eat. These people are obviously on a mission to provide their guests with the best possible experience. The hotel was booked, and they made arrangements for us to keep our rooms. The breakfast, lunch, dinners were excellent. The rooms were beautifully appointed. But most importantly you were with people that you knew wanted what was best for you and were there to provide. I would never stay anywhere else in Knysna.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Christina S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Peter D, General Manager at Turbine Hotel & Spa, responded to this review, 24 March 2014
Dear Christina S
Thank you so much for your kind words about Turbine Hotel and our staff. More importantly, it is so nice to see you well again and able to enjoy the last bit of your South African holiday.
It does make me proud to hear how caring all the staff were and how they took initiative in making your illness a little less stressful for you and your family.
Chef Andrew in Island Café is producing the most sublime food since re-joining us, and is already making waves on the restaurant review front. Please stay in touch and feel free to inform any of your friends and family that may be headed our way, to pay us a visit.
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Kungsbacka, Sweden
Level Contributor
12 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 March 2014

Our family of 2 adults and 2 kids stayed at the Turbine Hotel for 2 nights on our trip to the Garden Route in February '14. As a 5 star hotel, it's not quite up there with e.g. the Conrad Pezula which we stayed in for 5 nights prior to visiting the Turbine Hotel. Never the less, it's a very nice and truly unique hotel and a completely different experience altogether which we enjoyed a lot.

The renovation of the old power plant is extremely well done and we appreciated that they had manage to keep so much of the original machinery making it different to any other hotel we've ever seen. Our kids loved it as well. We liked that each suite was unique and came with a short explanation of the suite and it's interior. Nice touch. We stayed in the Thesen suite which was nice although no balcony nor view to write home about. It was just about large enough for our family. We found the bathroom a bit lacking in terms of amenities, and also no coffee was offered for free. The pool area is very picturesque overlooking a part of the Thesen laguna.

We didn't interact a whole lot with the staff, but when we did it was to our satisfaction as they were friendly and professional. The breakfast was good with a good selection of hot dishes to order besides the buffet. The salmon bagel was very nice and so was the serial. Didn't much like the curtain that was used to cover the food to keep the flies away tough.

We enjoyed a nice boat trip in the Knysna laguna with their water club, and although there was an initial booking error it was resolved nicely and we got the boat all for ourselves an hour later.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Lars A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Peter D, General Manager at Turbine Hotel & Spa, responded to this review, 19 March 2014
Dear Lars A
Thank you for taking the time to post such a complimentary review of the Turbine Hotel on Tripadvisor. This hotel is truly unique and will be very different to the large estate 5 star hotels. The conversion from a derelict old power station to where it has been restored is a fascinating glimpse of Knysna's past.
I am very happy that you enjoyed the food and your rooms at the hotel. In each room is a choice of Bodem filter coffee, instant granule coffee and a selection of teas.
I am so happy that you managed to get out onto the lagoon with your family. Having a skipper with excellent knowledge of the area makes the trip so much more informative and interesting.
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Leeds, UK
Level Contributor
181 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 March 2014

This hotel which used to be teh power station for Knysna, is intriging. Wonderful location on an island in teh middle of the lagoon, excellent room, nice pool area, great views from our balcony. Food is excellent, good wine list

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Shinyhead69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Peter D, General Manager at Turbine Hotel & Spa, responded to this review, 17 March 2014
Dear Shinyhead69
Thank you for your very much for all your compliments about the hotel. As a staff, we are all very proud of this little gem we have on Thesen Island. It holds so much of Knysna's history and heritage, which has only recently opened to the public. We are also very chuffed with the performance of our kitchen, as well as one of the more interesting wine lists to enjoy with the food.
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Dullstroom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 March 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, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank DaveDullstroom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Peter D, General Manager at Turbine Hotel & Spa, responded to this review, 17 March 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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Additional Information about Turbine Hotel & Spa

Property: Turbine Hotel & Spa
Address: 36 Sawtooth Lane | Thesen Islands, Knysna 6571, South Africa
Region: 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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