NEW YORK (Reuters) - When the president of Audi of America hits the road, most of his business journeys are more than a car trip away. Scott Keogh, who is based in Herndon, Virginia, travels regularly for work and has one favorite destination: Geneva.
"Beyond the charm of what I consider one of Europe’s finest cities, the sheer beauty of the Swiss landscape is breathtaking," says Keogh, who joined Audi from Mercedes-Benz SA in 2006. He visits Geneva annually for the Geneva Auto Show.
"Seeing the city flanked by the stunning Alps and gorgeous Lake Geneva, one feels immediately transported to one of the Old World European epicenters juxtaposed with the current cosmopolitan vibe, teeming with some of the world’s finest hotels, restaurants, bars and watchmakers," Keogh says.
There are many things Keogh loves about the city. Here are some of his tips:
Favorite hotel: La Réserve (301 route de Lausanne) is "a luxury hotel I’ve visited often." A more contemporary recommendation is La Cour des Augustins (Rue Jean-Violette 15). If visiting for pleasure, the Hotel d’Angleterre (Quai du Mont-Blanc 17) is well-positioned and close to the Jet d’Eau (Quai Gustave-Ador), a Geneva tourist staple.
Breakfast: "The hotels are excellent power breakfast spots. Specifically, La Cour des Augustins on Rue Jean-Violette 15, for its ultra-modern and interesting interiors."
Café: "Les Enfants Terribles (Rue Prévost-Martin 24) serves excellent coffee," and he recommends it also for the interior décor and ambiance. "The café is a part-time workshop, vintage emporium, coffee shop and later in the evening, a bar with a very cool vibe."
Business meeting spot: "The restaurant amenities at La Réserve Genève (301 route de Lausanne) have always sufficed for these purposes. The hotel is luxurious and comfortable with a very private feeling."
Team outing venue: The International Comedy Club (internationalcomedy.club/) in Geneva, which plays host to both star and local comedic talent. Also, Genève-Servette hockey club (Hans-Wilsdorf 4-6 St.) is great for hockey.
Off duty: "If you’re in town on the correct dates, Rock the Pistes Festival (www.rockthepistes.com/en/) is lively. It combines music with skiing and has always struck me as a very Swiss alpine trend. I also greatly enjoy Lake Geneva and the surrounding areas; taking a boat ride – both short and long – has always been a relaxing and enjoyable way to spend a free hour."
Design aficionados: "MB&F M.A.D Gallery (Rue Verdaine 11), which stands for Mechanical Arts Devices. It’s a gallery and boutique that shows unconventional pieces from leading international artists in kinetic art. I’ve always found it both clever and sophisticated and a great place to spend some time. Also, it’s conveniently located close to the Cathedrale St-Pierre (Place du Bourg-de-Four 24) for those needing a break from traditional tourist activities."
Cocktails: Le Cheval Blanc in Carouge (Place de l'Octroi 15) for drinks. "I also greatly enjoy the city views from Rooftop 42 (Rue du Rhône 42), which is a lively spot for a cocktail. For excellent cocktails and food, try L’Atelier Geneva (Rue Boissonnas 16)."
Beauty spots: "The Jet d’Eau (Quai Gustave-Ador) has always struck me as immensely powerful, although all of Geneva’s city center is quite beautiful. The Cathedral St-Pierre (Place du Bourg-de-Four 24) is architecturally beautiful, both within and out, and I always try and pause at the center of the Mont Blanc bridge (Pont du Mont-Blanc) for the unparalleled 360-degree views of the city."
Must-try: "Le Relais d’Entrecote (Rue Pierre Fatio 6) offers some of the most delicious steaks in Geneva, especially for those fond of fine dining."
Sweet souvenir: "The Swiss are known for many things, but, for me, Swiss chocolate has always been at the top of my list."
Editing by Lauren Young, Beth Pinsker and Bernadette Baum