If you like 'things' then Sion Hill is for you. It is steeped in history and much of it is on display as collectors pieces literally all over the house on virtually every space - and you are free to look at it all. We were fascinated.
George and Annette are really friendly from the moment they greet you to all the tourist advice they can tell you.
The gardens are a delight and we spent time on both of our days there exploring them and relaxing amongst the scent of flowers and the sound of fountains.
Although the house is well up the hill from the main road into Waterford, we did notice the traffic, mainly because we never hear any at home. And there is an early waking cockerel - but we were well rested in the comfortable bed and it never bothered us.
Breakfast has a good choice and there id plenty of it. We enjoyed sitting at the large communal dining table but could have had an individual one if we had wanted.
Most people choose to drive the 1 mile into town in the evening, but we walked in in about 20m so that we could both have a drink. The drive is a bit steep on the way back but is well lit.
Overall a very pleasant and memorable stay.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Sion Hill House & Gardens overlooks Irelands oldest city, the city of Waterford, and the river Suir. Set in almost five acres of gardens, this period and listed house dates back to the early 1700's, when the artist Van Der Hagen in 1736 used the gardens to paint his view of Waterford city and its waterfront, described as " the noblest quay in Europe".Today, Sion Hill House still looks out on this noble view stretching out over the city with its many church spires and even to the church spire of Tramore , a seaside resort seven miles away which can be seen clearly in the distant horizon. The house was built by the Pope family who were wealthy Waterford merchants and ship owners, and remained in the family until 1917. The Pope family, descendants of William the Conqueror, arrived in Ireland with Oliver Cromwell in 1649. They were very wealthy, operating ships between Newfoundland, Canada, England and France and amassed most of their wealth during the Napoleonic wars by importing wine from France to their wine cellars here in Waterford and then exporting it again to England for profit. Sion Hill has not changed over the years. French and English Cavalry swords still adorn the walls together with many other artifacts and paintings, some of our guests have described the house as "a living museum". However, nowadays we have all the modern conveniences with en-suite bedrooms, tea/coffee making facilities, TV's, trouser presses and hair dryers etc. and have been awarded a five star rating with the Automobile Association.The gardens at Sion Hill are extensive, divided between parkland, formal and woodland with many trees approx 200years old and close to 100 ft high. The gardens contain many rare plants, sourced from all over the world and are at their best in the Spring when thousands of bulbs are in bloom. The many certificates awarded by the Mayor of Waterford and displayed in the entrance hall give testament to the importance of the gardens to the city.The house furnishings include many rare and unusual items of interest including many old clocks , two of which are in the hallway, both made in Waterford. The Grandfather clock by William Parker, 78 The Quay, was made in 1870 and the wall clock made by Mosleys of Waterford in the late 1700's , both remain in good working order. The hall chandelier and wall brackets were made by Waterford Crystal while the Murano13 light glass chandelier in the dining room was made in Venice, Italy. Stuffed Antelope heads adorn the walls of the hallway along with fishing rods and Waterford Crystal walking sticks. At the back of the hall stands a beautiful Ancient Hopsicord piano. ... more less