Top 10 peaceful winter getaways

Secluded vacation spots that press the pause button on the day-to-day whirl

1. Monument Valley, UT: Blend into the scenery

Daydreaming is the main activity at the View Hotel, where every room has a balcony with vistas of those iconic sandstone spires—and nothing else. Occasionally guests rally from their reveries and bundle up to wander out into red rock scenery made completely new by a fairy dusting of snow. From $99. –Dina Mishev

2. Joshua tree, CA: Desert haven

Perched high on their own 10 acres in the mountains just outside Joshua Tree National Park, Sacred Sands’ two suites are an ideal base for exploring. But staying in isn’t a bad option either: Both suites have an indoor and an outdoor bed and shower, plus a hot tub with sea salts and tea tree oil for a post-hike soak. The silence is absolute, the views are unmatched, and, right now, the air is crisp and pure enough to bottle and sell. From $269; 2-night minimum.  –Jenny Price

3. Outside Puerto Vallarta, Mexico: A dreamy eco hotel is reborn

Expected to open this month after a tip-to-tail redo, the eco-swank Hotelito Desconocido has been smart enough to leave some things alone—you still hoist a flag to order your morning coffee. And between sessions in your ham­mock, the spa, or—if you’ve snagged a villa room—your private pool, you can still set tiny baby turtles free under the supervision of hotel biologists. The place is pricey, but you’ll never get stuck with a garden view: One side overlooks a lagoon, the other a pristine slash of beach. Check back for opening rates at hotelito.com –Natalie White

4. Lake Tahoe, NV: Slip away into the woods

Turns out that it’s not far to Away From It All. Less than a mile, actually, if you travel by nordic skis from the Spooner Lake cross-country ski area parking lot. Out here, schussing through the pines, you’ll spy the miniature Spooner Cabin with a generous woodpile to feed the pot-bellied stove inside. It ain’t got much—no shower, nowhere to plug in a hair dryer—but beers chill nicely in the snowbank outside, kerosene lamps lend mood lighting, and a propane stove warms your supper. Once you get settled, you’ll notice that what it does have—in spades—is quiet. That vast, complete hush you find only when the world is buried in snow. Those who don’t mind packing their clothes and food a bit farther into the 13,000-acre wilderness will be rewarded with the Wild Cat Cabin’s view of Tahoe’s Emerald Bay. $319 for 2 nights on a weekend for either cabin; includes trail passes, ski rentals, and, if you like, a lesson. –Lisa Trottier

5. Near Tubac, AZ: Welcome to your 32 acres of peace

At Hacienda Corona de Guevavi, just this side of the Mexican border, days start something like this: Hmm ... take a hike around the high-desert spread? Or is it balmy enough for a float in the blue mosaic pool? Wherever you land, you’ll see flocks of colorful birds flitting by. And after dark, the constellations weave a starry canopy. Art lovers too rubber boned from relaxation to make the short drive to the galleries in Tubac can plant themselves in the hacienda’s courtyard, surrounded by the whimsical murals of Salvador Corona. From $189.  –Edie Jarolim

6. Methow Valley, WA: Now this is camping

Skip the snow cave, and check into a stylish winter perch. Tucked into the tranquil upper end of northern Washington’s Methow Valley—where the loudest noise is the swish of cross-country skis—are the Rolling Huts, tricked out with platform beds, wood-burning fireplaces, and sleek kitchenettes. If cooking isn’t your thing, order tapas to go from the Wesola Polana Diner ($), and snuggle in to watch shadows play on the peaks above the ponderosas. Or ski out your door 6 miles for an espresso and fresh-baked goods at the Mazama Store ($; 509/996-2855). No tickets necessary for the nightly show: a gazillion stars and, if you’re lucky, the aurora borealis. From $115; 2-night minimum.  –Kathryn True

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