Q&A: Restaurateur Sam Fox on His New Luxury Hotel in Arizona, The Global Ambassador
Renowned restaurateur and brand developer Sam Fox has forayed into luxury hospitality with his forthcoming hotel, The Global Ambassador. Soon to be located at 44th Street and Camelback Road—where Phoenix, Scottsdale and Paradise Valley converge—the 141-room luxury property will combine refined accommodations with wellness experiences and eclectic culinary offerings.
The resort will also bring to the Valley five new original restaurant concepts, with worldly dishes inspired by beloved destinations such as Mexico, Peru and the Mediterranean. The culinary star of The Global Ambassador, however, will be its rooftop restaurant overlooking Camelback Mountain. Ringing in at 18,000 square feet, it also happens to be the largest such eatery in the state. “This hotel is solely built on enriching, dynamic experiences that are constantly evolving—you won’t want to leave,” Fox says.
We recently sat down with the restaurateur and innovator extraordinaire to dish on his new project.
Phoenix Home & Garden: What made you decide to take the jump and open your first hotel?
Sam Fox: My venture into hotels is the culmination of more than 20 years in the restaurant and hospitality industry, having opened over 100 restaurants, with many more planned for 2021. The Global Ambassador is a deeply personal, legacy project for me that furthers my pursuit of combining unmatched hospitality with culinary excellence. This is so much more than a hotel—it’s a luxury lifestyle brand that we hope will inspire and draw travelers from all over the world to explore Phoenix in a new way.
Can you tell me about your vision for The Global Ambassador?
The Global Ambassador is the natural evolution of my passion for creating memorable hospitality experiences. What’s unique here is that I’m the creator, co-developer, manager and operator in order to control the entire guest experience from start to finish.
Hotels today have become a limited set of experiences. We’re not subscribing to the functional requirements of traditional hotel developers—if it doesn’t enhance the guest experience, I’m not interested in it. With The Global Ambassador, we’re bringing an all-encompassing set of experiences together with the restaurants, wellness offerings, a private member’s club and a luxury hotel. Long before we designed the rooms, we homed in on the culinary offering, the programming, the community engagement aspect and so much more. This hotel is solely built on enriching, dynamic experiences that are constantly evolving—you just won’t want to leave.
What culinary offerings will be available?
The hotel will feature five original dining venues with cuisine influenced by the vibrant flavors found all over the world. The lobby level will include a European market and café that is inspired by the street-side Parisian cafes. The hotel’s signature restaurant will be a Parisian steakhouse featuring an eclectic menu with French influences. The poolside restaurant is influenced by Mexican and Peruvian fare and an exclusive member’s club restaurant. The piece de resistance will be the Mediterranean rooftop restaurant that overlooks the iconic Camelback Mountain.
Tell us about the wellness offerings.
A wellness center complete with an expansive fitness level and ultra-luxe spa where health, beauty and fitness experts will curate treatments and practices designed to put the mind and body in perfect balance.
Why did you select this location?
I think this location at 44th Street and Camelback Road is the most prime piece of real estate in Arizona. It just doesn’t get better than this—the convergence of Phoenix, Scottsdale and Paradise Valley, plus it’s in my own backyard. There’s an ease to the property and its proximity to everything. As with all of our projects, The Global Ambassador will be rooted in the surrounding community and the hotel will take that to the next level.
In your experience, what is the key to hospitality?
Anticipating your guest’s needs and wants before they do. It’s being intentional and meaningful with everything you do. We’ve always tried to lead by example. For me, I take the guest experience very personally. It’s not a transaction, it’s a highly personal experience that we’re trying to create for every guest, and employee, that walks in the door.