Did you know?
In 1869, Arndt Leonard Thesen, a Norwegian timber merchant, left home with his family aboard the Albatros for a new life in New Zealand. But on reaching South Africa, they decided to stay, settling near Knysna and starting a timber trading company. In 1904 his son, Charles Wilhelm Thesen, bought Paarden Island in the Knysna River estuary. He established a timber processing plant on the island, which became known as Thesen Island.
The transformation of a wood-fired turbine power station into a boutique hotel added a touch of quirkiness to Knysna’s hospitality scene. The result, the Turbine Boutique Hotel and Spa on Thesen Island next to the Knysna Lagoon, mixes interesting tones of heritage, nature and industry.
This spa on the iconic Garden Route is a branch of the Amani Spa group (amani means ‘peace’ in the East African language, Swahili), one of the leading names in luxury spas in South Africa. Like the other spas in the Amani Spa group, the Turbine Spa offers a wide range of face and body treatments.
A notable feature of this spa is the mosaic-tiled rasul chamber (a cleansing chamber), reminiscent of a Turkish hammam or steam room, with its own ‘starry sky’ and background music. The spa features lakeside views through floor-to-ceiling glass windows (the hotel is in fact surrounded by water on three sides), and brings tones of the indigenous Knysna forests into its décor.
The signature spa treatment at this facility is the Kurhula Body Ritual, which combines massage treatments from around the globe. Therapists work from the head and scalp right down to the toes, and follow this up with a mini-facial. An exclusive blend of African oils is used to eliminate toxins and relieve stress and fatigue.
Look out, too, for the Leraga Mud Detox, a slimming treatment that reduces bloating, cellulite and water retention. A ginger and lime wrap is applied for exfoliation purposes, followed by a slimming massage with a ginger and lime body butter. Also consider the Khanya of Africa revitalising treatment, using the energy of natural lava stones and crystals along with Babor spa products.
When it comes to pedicures, treatments are performed on a unique massage chair with an integrated foot bath.
The Amani Spas group has a holistic, 360° approach to health, beauty and wellness. The group comprises 15 spas countrywide and is the winner of several international spa awards.