When a wedding brought me to Knysna, I decided not to rush too quickly back to the hustle and bustle of the city and rather head to Thesen Islands. So we booked into the trendy Turbine Boutique Hotel and Spa to enjoy some downtime.
Decor at the Turbine
The former power station (its last day of operation was 26 June 2001) has incorporated parts from the original space into its look, so you can see steel pipes and pillars as well as turbines throughout the space. It is also big on bright pops of colour alongside the brick-face and whitewashed walls, which adds an eclectic and chic note, and tells you that it doesn’t take itself too seriously. It took three years to convert the power station into the boutique hotel it is today (full operation commenced on 12 August 2010), and it is easy to see why.
Room review of the Turbine
Each of the 24 rooms in the hotel has its own unique look. We stayed in the Portside Room with a nautical theme – the headboard with bright red and white stripes, and our couch covered in an old-school ship’s map. The room had a gorgeous view of Thesen Islands’s restaurants and inspired us to get out and explore the small town.
Food review at the Island Cafe
After some sightseeing, we headed off for supper at the Island Cafe and jumped straight into mains. I enjoyed the grilled, slow-aged beef sirloin while my partner tried the beef fillet. However, unlike what the menu stated, both were served with herb mash, onion confit and Béarnaise sauce. This was all washed down with a glass of (my favourite) Alto Rouge. My sirloin was cooked to perfection and melted in my mouth, and in the end I was happy that it came with the mash as opposed to the rocket salad as the menu proposed.
Thesen Island nightcaps
We ended off the evening with a nightcap at the Tapas Bar and Deck and I was sad that I hadn’t left any space to try out some of the intriguing snacks like sticky wings and poppers. It was a wonderful stay that made me realise how important it is to get away from the stress of the big city. I’ll definitely visit Thesen Islands again to wind down, and perhaps enjoy some time at the Turbine Hotel’s Amani African Spa or simply explore the town by bike or kayak.
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Words: Charis Le Riche