MAJESTIC HOTEL & SPA BARCELONA’S LA DOLCE VITAE ROOFTOP NAMED EUROPE’S BEST HOTEL CITY TERRACE IN EUROPE 2019 BARCELONA, Spain (Oct. 15, 2019) – Majestic Hotel & Spa Barcelona, the five-star luxury hotel with a privileged location in the heart of Barcelona, was honored with the 17th annual Prix Villégiature’s Best Hotel City Terrace in Europe award last night at Ferrieres Castle near Paris, honoring the hotel’s renovated rooftop area. La Dolce Vitae is the largest rooftop terrace on famous Passeig de Gracia, offering impressive panoramic views of Barcelona and its most emblematic architectural icons, such as Sagrada Familia, Gaudí’s Casa Batlló and Jean Nouvel’s Torre Agbar. The terrace reopened last summer after an extensive renovation by interior designer Antonio Obrador offering a refined, contemporary style while maintaining its famous swimming pool at the center. It offers a menu by Chef David Romero under the guidance of Michelin-star Chef Nandu Jubany, the hotel’s chef consultant. Founded in 2003, the Prix Villégiature Awards are presented annually honoring the best hotels in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia. The jury is made up of 23 journalists from 15 different countries who choose the best hotel in 28 different categories. In 2018, the jury recognized Majestic Hotel & Spa Barcelona’s famous Majestic Breakfast Experience as the Best Breakfast in Europe. Since its opening in 1918, Majestic Hotel & Spa Barcelona has played an emblematic role in Barcelona architecture, society and lifestyle, serving as the backdrop to important political and historical events, and welcoming through its doors some of the greatest personalities in art and culture. Located in the heart of Barcelona’s luxury and fashion district, the hotel’s history is among the richest in the Catalan capital. For more information visit www.hotelmajestic.es. ABOUT MAJESTIC HOTEL & SPA BARCELONA “In the world of great luxury hotels, the old is now the new,” – that’s what the experts say when speaking of hotels with such profound tradition and history like Majestic Hotel & Spa Barcelona. Since opening in 1918, the five-star hotel owned by the Soldevila-Casals family has played an emblematic role in Barcelona architecture, society and lifestyle, hosting notable guests such as Ernest Hemingway and Antonio Machado. Led by interior designer Antonio Obrador, the neo-classical French style property has completed a five-year renovation and has reclaimed its place among the iconic landmarks of the vibrant city. With a privileged location in the heart of Barcelona on stylish Passeig de Gràcia, the 271-room property is home to an unmatched 1,000-piece art collection with works by artists such as Antoni Tàpies and Josep Guinovart. In 2019, Prix Villégiature recognized the hotel yet again, naming its newly-renovated La Dolce Vitae rooftop terrace – with its panoramic city views — as Europe’s Best Hotel Terrace. Under the direction of Michelin star Chef Nandu Jubany, a robust gastronomic offering is highlighted by the Majestic Breakfast Experience, named Europe’s Best Breakfast in 2018 by Prix Villégiature. Additionally, The Leading Hotels of the World, a prestigious organization that represents independent luxury hotels from around the world, recognized the property with the Remarkably Uncommon award in 2018; the hotel has been a member of the organization since December 2014. Majestic Hotel & Spa Barcelona is also home to the city’s largest suite, a 5,000-square-foot penthouse with capacity for six, a dining room, two panoramic terraces and access to a personal butler and chauffeur. www.hotelmajestic.es.
When most people think of refugees, they imagine the millions of people around the world who have been forced to abandon their homelands in search of a better life. But animals can also be appropriately characterized as refugees, says Sociology Professor John Sorenson.Having written about human refugees fleeing war and famine in the Horn of Africa, he says many of the issues that drive people from their homes also turn animals into refugees.With the approach of World Refugee Day on Thursday, June 20, a day set aside by the United Nations Human Rights Commission on Refugees, Sorenson urges people to think beyond the traditional image of refugees to include their animal counterparts.Brock Sociology Professor John Sorenson (second from left) with faculty members Suharko Suharko (left) and Susilo Hadi from Universitas Gadja Mada, and graduate student Oktaria Asmarani (right).As areas of the world become uninhabitable for animals, as well as humans, more migration is inevitable, he says.“They are going to be driven out of their own environments by our destruction of the climate system. There’s going to be no place for these animals to live in their natural environment,” he says. “And, as they come into contact with people who are trying to protect their crops and so on, there’s going to be more conflict.”In April, Sorenson travelled to Indonesia, where he was an invited speaker at a symposium on the theme of animals and humans. While there, he gave a guest lecture on environmental sociology at Universitas Gadjah Mada in Yogyakarta. The trip was an opportunity to discuss his work in critical animal studies, animal-human relations, speciesism and related forms of human oppression.“Indonesia is certainly facing a lot of serious issues such as deforestation for palm oil plantations and loss of biodiversity,” he says. As forests are cut down, the animals who live in them effectively become refugees, he says. “It’s a very sad situation.”Sorenson’s visit to the Yogyakarta Wildlife Rescue Centre provided a close-up look at some animal refugees.The centre includes a sanctuary for wildlife such as orangutans, gibbons, macaques, sun bears, eagles and parrots, all rescued from the illegal pet trade, he says. While an improvement from the terrible conditions of the pet trade, Sorenson admits the centre is not ideal. Staff try their best to care for the animals, but funds are limited.At the sanctuary, he was dismayed to see orangutans — “really huge animals that require a lot of space and travel long distances through the forest” — living in tiny cages that don’t allow them much movement.“That’s the only place for them now,” he says.The hope is that these animals will be rehabilitated and relocated, but many are not used to living in nature.“Training them to be wild animals again is difficult,” Sorenson says. “Many can never be reintroduced to the wild. And, if there’s no place for them to go, then a life in captivity is their sad fate.”Meeting local people who are working to improve the lives of animals is an important part of Sorenson’s travels.“A distinguishing aspect of critical animal studies is that it’s not just academics writing papers about these issues. There’s also interaction with activists and people working on the ground to help animals,” he says.In the face of relentless news reports about the decimation of wildlife populations, biodiversity loss, pollution and the climate crisis, “it seems to me that we should all be talking about these things every day,” he says.“We should get out of this anthropocentric focus that has been so much a part of sociology, but also a part of everybody’s outlook toward the world,” he says. “Our relations with other beings are really important.”