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For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni
For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni 

Things to do in South Africa

Check out the steamy goings on at the artsy Turbine Hotel

Walk into a contemporary, stylish space set within the bare bones of a 1920s power turbine…

By Rudi Wagenaar
Marketing Representative at The Turbine Hotel

The Turbine hotel is a product of pure, blind passion. It took a great deal of vision to take a derelict industrial building and turn it into an extraordinary place to stay, and I doubt there is anything else like it in southern Africa.

Guests walk into a contemporary, stylish space set within the bare bones of a 1920s power turbine. No two room shapes are the same. The original wood boiler, four electricity generators and much of the equipment have been fully restored. The restaurant displays the old gauges and log books – all with imperial measurements. In one of the boilers a section of the casing is cut away so that you can see inside.

We get a lot of engineers coming to stay and we’ve welcomed a lot of South Africans who remember the power station when it was working. It really stands out as a living testimony to when the site supplied the towns of Knysna and Plettenberg Bay with electricity.

We’re known for our industrial-chic décor but we’re keen to promote local art, too, so we’ve turned some of our spaces into an informal art gallery. We’re proud to say that some of the staff have been here since we cut the ribbon in 2010 and we also have a community-run spa which uses local products rather than imported ones.

The hotel and pool overlook Knysna Lagoon and our private jetty is one of our USPs. Guests like being able to step straight from the hotel and onto a boat for a sunset sail or a cruise to Knsyna Heads. And then there are the little touches, like our Rooibos tea-making demo, which help make the experience unique. The mechanics of bag soaking are very important...


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Alfred & Rudi Wagenaar

Although he enjoyed magical family holidays on home turf it wasn’t until later in life that Johannesburg-born Rudi realised a holiday could involve all-round hospitality and not just setting up camp and doing dishes every day. Rudi has worked with several of Africa’s most prestigious hospitality brands and recently launched his own boutique marketing agency. When not promoting beautiful South Africa Rudi can be found under the bonnet of one of his classic cars or heading off on an overland camping trip.

Plan your holiday withAlfred&

Your journey will start with one of our UK team – someone like Laura, who's travelled extensively in South Africa. They’ll shape your ideas into the trip of a lifetime. But they won't do it alone. They'll draw on the expertise of our contacts on the ground, connecting you to the people who'll make your holiday one you'll always remember - ex banker who can show you the hottest foodie spots in Cape Town, the award-winning young sommelier who can introduce you to Stellenbosch's finest wines and the walking safari ranger who can guide you to the best game.

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