Rod Drury describes Monaco as "the Queenstown of Europe".
The boss of online accounting software firm Xero was in the city-state on the French Riviera, well known for its luxury lifestyle, this month for the EY World Entrepreneur of the Year Awards.
Catching up back at the EY offices in Auckland's Britomart, Drury said Monaco was a special place.
"It's like the top of the tops and the [awards] event really took over the whole town, it was magical," he said.
Drury was one of 51 entrepreneur of the year candidates vying for the world title, with all applicants having already won the title for their country. The entrepreneurs were hosted in Monaco for just under a week, rubbing shoulders with some of Europe's elite.
Despite not winning the award, Drury said the experience and contacts he got out of the event had been life-changing.
"It's such a worthwhile experience," he said. "Even just getting to talk to people about being able to build long-term businesses, and being able to network with such incredible people.
"It just reinforced to me, that business is inherently good, and that if you take a long-term view of things, you can achieve amazing things," Drury said.
Applications for this year's awards have closed.