Prefer luxury on an intimate scale? Small is beautiful, says Aoife O'Riordain

1. La Posta del Vinyet, Uruguay

Serious forward planning is the only option for the fashionable Uruguayan resort of José Ignacio, particularly if you want to stay at the four-bedroom La Posta del Vinyet. This diminutive hotel near town epitomises the allure of the laid-back beach resort – a bit like a Latino version of Martha's Vineyard – on a peninsula 40km south of Punta del Este. Rooms are decorated with carefully chosen objects; there is also a pool, miles of deserted beach and views of the Atlantic.

La Posta del Vinyet, Chacras de Medellín, José Ignacio, Uruguay (00 598 480 6136; Doubles start at US$150 (£79), with breakfast.

2. The One Hotel Angkor, Cambodia

After a day spent among the crowds at Angkor Wat, you might be glad of a little solitude at The One Hotel Angkor. As the name suggests, there is only one suite at this tiny hotel in Siem Reap's Old Market. The look is French-colonial, but with contemporary accents: hardwood floors, a roof terrace and iBook and iPod.

The One Hotel Angkor, The Passage, Siem Reap, Cambodia (00 855 12 755 311; Doubles start at US$250 (£132), including breakfast.

3. 3 Rooms, Italy

Fashion pundit Carla Sozzani's 3 Rooms is the only choice for the cognoscenti when in Milan. It is one of the most exclusive places to stay in Italy's fashion capital and its setting on the Corso Como means every Italian luxury brand is within a stiletto's throw. The B&B is above Sozzani's 10 Corso Como outlet.

3 Rooms 10 Corso Como, Milan, Italy (00 39 02 62 61 63; www.3rooms-10corsocomo. com). Doubles start at €340 (£283), including breakfast.

4. Dar Seven, Morocco

Prince and Princess Ruspoli, owners of the Residenza Napoleone III in Rome, have put their hospitality skills to good use again with this tranquil four-bedroom riad hotel in the heart of Marrakech. Its rooms, around a courtyard, are the height of Italian-meets-Moroccan chic.

Dar Seven, Medina, Marrakech, Morocco (00 39 347 733 7098; Doubles start at €110 (£92) with breakfast and staff. The house can be rented out from €810 (£675) per night (minimum three nights).

5. Hotel Particulier, France

Montmartre is one of the hippest corners of Paris, so it's no surprise that it is where you'll find the Hôtel Particulier. This très chic townhouse is concealed by a garden designed by Louis Benech, who renovated the Jardins des Tuileries. Each of the five suites is designed with figures from France's contemporary art scene.

Hôtel Particulier Montmartre, 23 avenue Junot, Paris, France (00 33 1 53 41 81 40; Doubles start at €340 (£283), room only.