James McBride

James McBride

beaching for a cause

A globally renowned hotelier, James McBride has created and led many of the world’s greatest hotels during his career, which spans a quarter of a century. He is now based in Indonesia, where he runs the exclusive Nihiwatu resort on Sumba island.

My perfect getaway is when I meet my son in Washington DC to spend time together. Returning to Africa where I grew up is always very special too.

A must-visit spot in South Africa would be Cape Town. It may sound a little cliched, but being on top of the mountains, when the sun is rising, is truly breathtaking.

The Sumba Foundation has many causes. One of them is the malnutrition clinic where they feed the children. It’s an ultimate luxury seeing them have their meals because in our world, food is a given.

The trend for tourism is experiential travel. I feel fortunate that what we are doing is completely experiential in an exotic environment. We offer an incredible experience, where children can get an education and lead richer lives – mentally and spiritually.

There are too many beach resorts on the beach. Beach resorts back in the day were great when there weren’t too many people on the sand and you could take a break without having to share with too many people. The overbuilding in some areas, whether it’s in Bali or South America or any place that has become popular, has led to concrete jungles on the beach. I think you always need an element of jungle.

Many visitors don’t know much about the foundation, but they slowly grow into it and want to contribute by building clinics and such. It’s tangible, it’s real and they feel good about it.

I love to play polo and that’s why we have it in Sumba. When I’m in Singapore, my favourite place is the Singapore Polo Club. This sport probably embodies the thing that I enjoy the most.