Recognized as “One to Watch” by Bloomberg Businessweek’s Bloomberg 50 and awarded Independent Hotelier of the World by Hotels magazine, James McBride is a global hotelier who has led some of the world’s leading hotels during his twenty-five-year professional career. Known for his limitless creativity, clever marketing techniques, and exceptional hotel experiences, James has raised the bar in the hospitality industry, paving the way for inventive ideas and competitive spirit.
James McBride started his journey globally at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, where he remained for fourteen years. His work is the focus of a Harvard Business School case study that remains the number one best seller taught in many academic programs “that details a new hotel launch, focusing on the unique blend of leadership, quality processes, and values of self-respect and dignity, to create award-winning service.”
James McBride was then selected to run two of the most preeminent properties in quick succession: In 2002, James became General Manager of The Grosvenor House of London’s Park Lane, and in 2003 he was appointed by Rosewood Hotels as Managing Director of The Carlyle in New York. James’ six years with Rosewood Hotels included the Regional Directorship of all Caribbean Resorts.
James McBride transitioned to hotel entrepreneur in 2012 when he partnered with long-time friend and investor Christopher Burch on the acquisition of the Nihiwatu, a small surf destination on the Indonesian island of Sumba, later on in 2016 and 2017 NIHI was voted the #1 Hotel in the World for Travel + Leisure magazine’s World’s Best Awards and its Mamole Villa received top honors from The Telegraph among the world’s best Treehouse Hotels. James spoke about the adventures of NIHI’s revival at the Skift Global Forum 2018. NIHI Sumba is now a philanthropic resort dedicated to preserving Sumba’s culture, heritage and traditions— while empowering its villages with the resources to prosper—all through the operational support of the Sumba Foundation. The result is a rare collaboration between a resort and its local community that today co-exist with compelling interdependence: the resort has become the biggest employer on the island and the Sumba Foundation gives back to local communities. A portion of NIHI Sumba’s profits, and donations from hotel guests, help foster projects such as clean water, medical clinics, and lunches for school children.
I've been a long fan of Chris Burch and James McBrides they've built Nihi, a discerning hotel on Sumba in Indonesia. It is the spiritual heir of what Adrian Zecha first created with Aman, while also being completely fresh and new. And now the brand is slowly and thoughtfully growing with locations coming in Santo Tomas, Costa Rica, as well as Rote Island, Indonesia. Watch this one closely, as these two don't miss.
James and Chris are enthusiastically planning an expansion of the brand to realize further opportunities grounded in its doctrine, “The Edge Of Wildness™” Soon, the expansion of NIHI Hotels will include the current model of a luxury resort that emphasizes ultimate services and endless experiences with the addition of NIHI Santo Tomas Costa Rica, a 1000-hectare property in Guanacaste characterized by a sense of tranquil seclusion and just a 2,5-hour flight from Miami, NIHI® Santo Tomás features two private beaches and the closest proximity to Costa Rica’s world-famous cult wave Witch’s Rock and NIHI Rote, a stunning escape on a secluded corner of Rote Island in West Timor Indonesia, with 24 thatched pool villas and highly sought-after world-class surfing waves in front of Bo’a beach.