Welcome to our valley – Byrne is a picturesque village nestled among the rolling green hills of KwaZulu-Natal. Slow, sun-baked days in summer and invigoratingly crisp winters epitomise our weather. Cool evenings in summer and frosty mornings in winter make the crackle of the log fires and the scent of steaming bowls of soup or porridge even more inviting. We offer a home from home for families and invite you to join our larger family. The cosy yet scenic environment provides a welcome respite from the stresses of urban living, yet we are just a quick hop (45 minutes from Pietermaritzburg and 75 minutes from Durban) away. This makes weekend escapes simple, especially when travelling with young children. The tariffs include three meals a day and the cup of tea at 11am and 4pm in the afternoon is a welcome event.
PLEASE NOTE: DRESS CODE IS SMART CASUAL IN THE EVENING, LONG PANTS REQUIRED FOR MEN AFTER 6.30pm (in bar and dining room)
From the whisper of the leaves on the majestic oak trees from which the hotel gets its name to the fragrant scent of owner Rosemary Butt’s beautiful roses, The Oaks weaves a spell ensuring an enchanting experience. Homely yet charming décor and a relaxed atmosphere contribute to a great holiday; while the 18-hole putt-putt course, pool, tennis courts, bowling-greens, children’s play area and gentle walks for those simply wishing to walk off the good food, or more challenging adventures for the fit ensure that there is plenty to keep everyone busy.
The beautiful Richmond Golf Course is so close a round of golf is a must for enthusiasts. Of course, if a good book enjoyed in the garden or in the comfortable lounge is your choice then you will feel right at ease here too.
The Oaks is situated in Byrne Valley which is steeped in history and the surrounding area is rich in sites of interest such as the Richmond and the Baynesfield Estate Museums, The Hamptons (Wild-life centre), the miniature train (fairly close-by at Ixopo), and for the adventurous, a trip up to the top of Cunningham Ridge which overlooks the natural bowl which shelters The Oaks. This can be done on foot or by winding dirt-road and promises not only a wonderful view of the hotel itself like an image from Mini-town, but also of the Conservancy on the other side of the ridge, as well as a fascinating museum of old tractors, machinery and early appliances like typewriters, scales and telephones. For the less hardy, a short stroll will bring you to the quaint and beautiful Anglican Church of St Mary Magdalene in Byrne. Many of the first Byrne settlers who were duped into believing they had been sold land by the coast and whose shipwreck had robbed them of possessions and food supplies are buried in the churchyard. The church itself has a Visitors’ Book which also makes for interesting viewing. The Oaks is a landmark in the area and was a guest farm until the late 1940s when it first became a licensed hotel. Rosemary and her family have owned and managed The Oaks since 1984 and the family invest a lot of love and care in the gardens creating an ambience of great charm and tranquillity. It is certain that once you have experienced the magic of The Oaks that you will carry a hint of this back home with you along with good memories. You are sure to want to renew your acquaintance with us whenever certain lazy, sun-soaked days or the smell of a wood-fire turn your thoughts back to good times spent among friends.