Boiler Room Lux­ury

SLOW Magazine - - Contents - Text: Olive John­son Im­ages © Tur­bine Ho­tel & Spa

Built in the 1930s and be­fore its am­bi­tious trans­for­ma­tion, the Tur­bine Ho­tel & Spa used to be one of the orig­i­nal power sta­tions in Knysna. To­day, it is used as a five-star bou­tique ho­tel, whilst its strong her­itage and in­dus­trial aes­thetic be­stows on it a truly in­trigu­ing at­mos­phere.

Fa­mous for its out­stand­ing views, an­nual oyster fes­ti­val and wel­com­ing peo­ple, Knysna, a small town sit­u­ated on the pic­turesque Gar­den Route, has been at­tract­ing vis­i­tors for years. Tur­bine Ho­tel & Spa is sit­u­ated within the scenic Knysna es­tu­ary, on Th­e­sen Is­land, and of­fers guests the very best in lux­ury ac­com­mo­da­tion, panoramic views, world-class cui­sine, and ex­cep­tional fa­cil­i­ties. By re­tain­ing the old ma­te­ri­als used in the orig­i­nal power sta­tion, the ho­tel of­fers guests the op­por­tu­nity to soak up the build­ing’s his­tory and marvel at the in­cred­i­ble in­dus­trial back­drop which has been lov­ingly re­stored. Mas­sive tur­bines, steel pil­lars and pipes have been merged with funky dé­cor to cre­ate an aes­thetic like no other. The ma­chin­ery and pipes are painted in vi­brant red, blue, green and orange, matched by din­ing chairs in dif­fer­ent bright colours. All sorts of un­usual in­stru­ments and con­trap­tions are dot­ted around the ho­tel and will keep en­gi­neers, sci­en­tists, and cu­ri­ous vis­i­tors fas­ci­nated for hours. If quirky is your thing, this old power plant harks back to a time that we’ve long passed – a slice of his­tory that few will get to ex­pe­ri­ence.

Ar­chi­tects and in­te­rior de­sign­ers had a field day in de­sign­ing and shap­ing the look and feel of the rooms, and this re­sulted in the rooms be­ing just as quirky as the build­ing it­self. The Hon­ey­moon Suite pro­vides the per­fect ro­man­tic get­away for cou­ples, and the Wa­ter Club, with its fully-stocked kitchen, dish­washer, fridge/freezer and wash­ing ma­chine is ideal for fam­i­lies or groups of friends who want in­de­pen­dence in five-star style.

For those who pre­fer to have oth­ers do it for them, the Is­land Café restau­rant at the Tur­bine Ho­tel & Spa is a des­ti­na­tion that is pop­u­lar with hol­i­day­mak­ers, lo­cals and guests alike. The restau­rant has a fine rep­u­ta­tion, and food-lovers can ex­pect to be taken on a culi­nary ad­ven­ture, from the imag­i­na­tive break­fasts and light lunches to the mouth­wa­ter­ing gourmet din­ners. In­dulge in a stack of flap­jacks smoth­ered in maple syrup and topped with crispy ba­con for break­fast; en­joy ‘Ge­off’s grilled chicken’ - chicken breast basted with gar­lic le­mon and mild chilli, served with rus­tic cut fries for lunch; and for din­ner, why not try the mouth-wa­ter­ing braised lamb shank served with creamy po­lenta and roast beet­root? And, if you’ve got space for dessert af­ter all that, then the deca­dent dark choco­late mousse, served with salted caramel pop­corn is a must!

If you’re more in the mood for fin­ger food, the Tur­bine Gas­tro Pub is ideal. It has an out­door seat­ing area and a snug in­doors with a full range of ales, wines and spir­its, and a menu that in­cludes sticky ri­blets, Prego steak rolls, tem­pura prawns, fried Patag­o­nia cala­mari, beef ke­babs and pulled pork cia­batta. A mas­sive lift­ing hook and tar­nished metal chains dat­ing from the power-plant days make an in­ter­est­ing talk­ing point in the pub.

There are also a range of ac­tiv­i­ties on of­fer for guests to en­joy dur­ing their stay at the Tur­bine Ho­tel & Spa. If you’re look­ing to get some sand be­tween your toes, some of the most beau­ti­ful beaches in South Africa are just a short drive away. The ho­tel also has two of its very own mo­torised pon­toon barges, each seat­ing up to 10 peo­ple, so guests can en­joy a cham­pagne and canapé sun­set cruise whilst ogling the in­cred­i­ble view of the Knysna Heads, a mag­nif­i­cent rock for­ma­tion guard­ing the lagoon where it joins the ocean. Boat­ing, kayak­ing, swim­ming or even kitesurf­ing can be en­joyed in the shel­tered lagoon, and if you’re want­ing to get out into the deeper sea, why not char­ter a fish­ing boat or yacht for the day? Hik­ing and cy­cling are also great op­tions for those want­ing to be in na­ture, and there is al­ways the bustling Knysna wa­ter­front and har­bour for a bit of shop­ping.

Af­ter a day ei­ther re­lax­ing or get­ting your blood pump­ing out on the lagoon, treat your­self to a ses­sion the ho­tel’s spa. The spa – which of­fers a wide va­ri­ety of body, fa­cial and beauty treat­ments as well as an ex­otic mo­saic-tiled ra­sul (spa room dec­o­rated in the style of a Turk­ish ham­mam) – has two sig­na­ture treat­ments. These are the glo­ri­ous Kurhula Ri­tual, a 90-minute pam­per­ing with a full body mas­sage and fa­cial to re­store bal­ance and re­vi­talise your body, mind and soul; and the Jewel of Africa, a 90-minute treat­ment us­ing warm rose and clear crys­tals to bal­ance your en­er­gies.

So, the next time you con­sider tak­ing a scenic trip on the mag­nif­i­cent Gar­den Route, make sure you stop off and spend a few nights ex­pe­ri­enc­ing all the beauty Knysna has to of­fer with a stay at the Tur­bine Ho­tel & Spa. With mod­ern five-star fa­cil­i­ties cou­pled with his­tor­i­cal arte­facts that re­flect the is­land’s rich past, in one of the most beau­ti­ful parts of the coun­try, you just can’t go wrong.

For more in­for­ma­tion, please visit www.tur­bine­ho­tel.co.za, call reser­va­tions on +27 44 302 5746, or email them at reser­va­tions@tur­bine­ho­tel.co.za.

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