Having always lived in urban areas, there came a time when I just wanted some fresh air, room to breathe and space to grow. After two years of searching for the right property, the friendly welcoming vibe of this old house captivated me, suddenley all the ideas and plans which had been swirling around my head took shape. With the generous support of friends, family and work colleagues; with their time, moral support, labour, cash, furniture, promotion, fixing, mending, sewing, painting; Over the Rainbow came into being in the summer of 2003.
At that time there were (and still are) very few vegetarian guest houses, there were also very few female focused retreats in rural areas, especially where minority communities were made to feel welcome. From the outset we aimed to be different, to cater for the alternative. We are ‘straight friendly’ – everyone will enjoy a warm welcome.
The goddess themed bedrooms were deliberately chosen to celebrate female history, myths and legends and also to reflect different cultures.
Over the Rainbow is not your average guesthouse, we are proud of our green credentials, inclusive offering and just being different.
The image of a rainbow has often been used to symbolise progressive ideas: Rainbow Warrior, Rainbow Coalition, Rainbow Nation and of course Gay Pride, but what do you know about the author of the lyrics to the song Over the Rainbow, Edgar Yip Harburg? Born in New York in 1896, he championed racial and gender equality and union politics, a liberal socialist and ardent critic of religion. During the MCcarthy era he was banned from working in Radio/TV/Hollywood and had his passport revoked for refusing to feed right wing paranoia by naming names for McCarthy’s committee. His lyrics have found a home here in west Wales.
We participate in the Green Key International scheme, we are Gold standard members of the Green Tourism Association and support Greentraveller. We have deliberately chosen to follow these recognised schemes instead of the traditional accommodation grading schemes as this more closely represents what we believe in and aspire to. The accommodation star grading schemes make no reference to environmental impacts and instead concentrate on cosmetic appearances.
We recognise our responsibility to manage the environmental impacts of our activities, products and services within the tourism and hospitality sector. We have subjected our activities to rigorous assessment, identified environmental impacts and aim to reduce and minimises these impacts.
CONSUMPTION OF RESOURCES: Consumption of resources (heat energy, water, electricity) are constantly monitored and evaluated, aiming to reduce our pollution and energy consumption.
WATER: we aim to minimize water waste by monitoring use and installing equipment which conserves metered water, eliminate unnecessary towel washing, retain rainwater for grounds use.
RECYCLING: we recycle materials where practicable, facilities are provided for guests to recycle and compost where practical.
RENEWABLE ENERGY: We aim to reduce our carbon footprint by reducing use of fossil fuels. To this end we have invested heavily in renewables. In 2007 we installed Solar thermal panels for hot water. In 2012 installed a solar PV array which produces a good proportion of our electricity most of the year round and also contributes to the national grid. In 2016 we replaced the old oil central heating boiler with a biomass system.
APPLIANCES: Where practicable purchase the highest energy rated appliances when replacing old appliances.
CLEANING: To source wherever possible bio friendly chemicals in order to minimize our chemical impact on the environment. We employ Cleaning Companies who use eco friendly products. We aim to eliminate the use of single use containers of shower gels, soap and shampoos etc
FOOD: We source locally produced food from our own gardens and suppliers who operate organic and animal welfare practices to achieve the best quality and minimum food miles. We reduce waste by not using single portion pots eg jams/preserves/uht milk,
INFORMATION All employees are aware of the Environmental Policy and are encouraged to contribute improved environmental practices. We communicate our Environmental Policy to guests through printed and electronic mediums and encourage environmentally responsible behaviour and provide information on healthy and green activities during your stay: cycling, walking, public transport, electric car recharging.