Turbine Hotel & Spa

Location: Garden Route & Little Karoo | South Africa

The Turbine is a boutique luxury design hotel in Thesen Island in South Africa’s famously scenic Garden Route. Set in a former power station, the hotel has an edgy, contemporary feel, with many of the facility’s original features having been kept as unique design pieces. A range of outdoor activities are on offer courtesy of the Turbine Water Club.
Perfect forPerfect for exploring the Garden Route by land and sea.
In the know
  • Kayaking, whale-watching, fishing and mountain biking among the activities on offer
  • Edgy design hotel housed in a restored power station
  • Delicious South African cuisine served at two restaurants

Recommended for...

  • Food & Wine
  • Spa & Wellness
  • Boutique Hotel
  • Chic Design

Hotel Overview

sense of place

The Turbine has a unique location on Thesen Island in the Knysna Estuary, a picturesque spot even by the famously high standards of the Garden Route. Set in a restored power station, much of the original machinery has been kept, lending the hotel an edgy, industrial feel.

rooms at Turbine hotel & spa

Accommodation at The Turbine comprises seventeen standard rooms, six luxury rooms, a honeymoon suite and the Water Club, an exclusive self-catering apartment. The rooms are individually designed in a contemporary style, with edgy urban designs on the fabrics and artwork paying homage to the property’s industrial past. Many rooms boast panoramic views over the canal and the Knysna Lagoon beyond.

food & drink

The Turbine has several dining options to ensure you won’t go hungry during your stay here. The Island Café has a unique aesthetic, allowing you to dine between the original factory turbines overlooking the canal. Huge sliding doors add to the contemporary feel of the design, while blazing fireplaces create a cosy atmosphere in the colder months. Dishes on offer draw on the rich natural bounty of the surrounding area, including springbok and melon salad, line fish and local lamb shanks, and the restaurant has also won plaudits for its extensive wine list. The Gastro Pub Deck, meanwhile, is an informal spot to enjoy a drink and some tapas as the sun sets over the Knysna Lagoon.


The Amani Spa offers a wide variety of wellness treatments, including massages, facials, manicures and hydrotherapy. The hotel also has a beautiful pool deck, where you can swim in the rim flow pool and relax on the surrounding sun loungers, which overlook the canal.


The Turbine Water Club offers a wide array of activities, both on land and on the Knysna Lagoon. These include pontoon cruises, bicycle and kayak hire, and fishing charters where you can hope to catch mussel cracker, stumpnose and blacktail, among many others. Also on offer are kite-surfing, stand-up paddle boarding and mountain biking, while longer boat trips can take you out into the Indian Ocean to spot whales, dolphins, seals and other marine life.

Best time to go

Best time to travel

Good time to travel (but some limitations)

Travel is possible (but it’s not the best time)

Travel is not recommended

  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
Best time to go

Hotel location

The Turbine is around 50 minutes’ drive from George Airport, which welcomes regular flights from Cape Town (50 mins) and Johannesburg (2 hrs).

Stay at Turbine Hotel & Spa on these trips

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call us on +1 347 809 3426 to start planning your perfect trip

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