I had always heard of a magical place called Knysna – a place where the modern world and nature meet in just the right amounts. Once I had arrived and taken in the beauty of it, I realised exactly why people travel from all over the world to experience this amazing destination.
My fiancé, baby and I stayed at the legendary Turbine Boutique Hotel & Spa on Thesen Islands. They opened their doors in 2010; however the building has been around since 1939.
Before becoming a five-star hotel, it was once a power station that supplied electricity to the whole of Knysna. Now it provides visitors from far and wide with an amazing spa, a restaurant, a tapas bar, an infinity pool, an art gallery, a conference centre and luxury accommodation.
A big plus for me was that they happily accept babies and children; something not many hotels in the area do. This is great for parents who desperately need a getaway and want their children to join in on the fun. They even supplied us with a cot in the room and a nanny service, so Mom and Dad could have a nice romantic dinner at Island Café, the hotel’s canalside restaurant. The food was delectable. For starters, we had a seafood soup and springbok-and-melon salad; for mains, we had lamb shank and Asian duck – I was extremely impressed.
The architecture has kept the industrial essence of the old power station, but transformed the building into an elegant, world-class hotel. The colours are vivid and exciting, but still airy. Large expanses of windows, glass doors and see-through railings allow nothing to get in the way of the view, both inside and out.
The rooms are spacious with en-suite bathrooms with separate showers and baths. Each room comes with its own Nespresso machine, a large variety of warm beverages and a king-sized bed that you will never want to get out of! There are also refurbished industrial parts placed strategically throughout the room, creating a unique ambience as opposed to your standard hotel artwork.
Amani African spa was probably one of the best spas I have had the pleasure of visiting. Everything was just right – the full-body-and-foot massage, as well as the facilities and atmosphere.
On our last evening, The Turbine Boutique Hotel & Spa arranged for us to go on a sunset cruise through Knysna’s canals and lagoon. Our skipper, Monty, gave us an extremely humorous and informative tour explaining the history of the area. We paused along the way to appreciate the beauty of the land and water and to indulge in some local wine and oysters – yum! If you’re looking for another, more adventurous, way to explore the area, then you can hire bicycles or canoes from The Water Club across the road from the hotel.
All in all, I had the time of my life and this getaway was exactly what I needed. I didn’t want to leave, and now I can’t wait to go back.