March 29, 2023
LSM interviews Dandre Lerm-Engel, owner of Turbine Boutique Hotel and Spa
Luxury Safari Magazine is thrilled to interview Dandre Lerm-Engel, owner of Turbine Boutique Hotel and Spa, a stunning boutique 5-star hotel on Thesen Islands. The hotel offers guests fabulous Knysna accommodation options, exceptional cuisine, stunning views, and a range of world-class facilities, including a spa. Here we find out more about the everyday running of such an amazing hotel:
What is your biggest aspiration/goal that you would like to reach?
My biggest goal has always been for the Turbine to become the best boutique hotel in Knysna and the Garden Route.
What makes The Turbine Hotel & Spa stand out above the rest?
Without any doubt it’s history! Guaranteed, there will never be another old power station conversion on an island in South Africa… the power station played such a big part in the development of Knysna in years gone by and hopefully today it does and will continue to do the same for tourism in Knysna.
What is the best part of managing the inner workings of Turbine Hotel & Spa?
Definitely the guest ‘experience’ and also, the hotel staff and management team at the hotel. So much hard work goes on behind the scenes and without a dedicated, loyal staff complement, managing this would just not be possible.
What was the vision behind creating this stunning boutique hotel?
In 2007 we saw an article in the Business Day about a power station site on Thesen Islands for sale. We were immediately interested and went to have a look. When we walked into the building, my partner and I immediately knew that this was a project for us, and something that we wanted to do. Because it was a heritage building it was not an easy design and it took us two years to get the design done and build the hotel.
Where do you want to take the company in the future?
As I mentioned earlier, it is for the Turbine to become the best, and I really mean the BEST, boutique hotel in the Garden Route, and also to become the ‘Employer of choice’ in Knysna and the Garden Route.
What is your strongest passion?
People! … truly, there’s nothing in the world that makes me happier than happy guests.
What is your biggest achievement to date?
I would say it’s been developing the hotel and seeing it grow, year on year.
What is your current target market and do you plan to expand it?
We focus on both local and international guests.
On a personal level, how do you relax?
There’s not much time to relax actually, but if I do, I love to travel and to stay at other boutique destinations around the world to make sure we stay on top of our game! Oh, and also long walks with our staffies, Wendy and Sophie.
Is there anything else you would like to add or want people to know?
Nope, not really… other than to mention that the Turbine is number one on many bucket lists, and maybe it’s time to add us to yours – you won’t be sorry!
T: +27 44 302 5746
W: Turbine Hotel
Facebook/Instagram: Turbine Hotel & Spa / turbinehotel