Courtesy of the Cottages of Napa Valley
1. Sedona, AZ
Refresh in red rock country: The only thing better than a gorgeous desert hike is the massage that follows, and the Sedona Rouge Hotel & Spa is your ticket to both.
A 3-mile lung burner to Chimney Rock is less than a mile from the hotel. The payoff is a heavenly massage at the spa, where therapists go easy on the spiritual stuff but still make you feel like you’re on another planet. From $199; 866/312-4111. –Anna Nordberg
2. Palm Springs
Retro-cool find in the desert: Celebs flocked to the Horizon Hotel back in the 1950s, when it was the sprawling residence for a big-wig TV producer. And that Hollywood hideaway glamour lives on.
Camp out Marilyn-style by the palm-dotted poolside to soak up the 80° temps and postcard views of the mountains. Each of the 22 minimalist rooms has a patio―and for an extra splurge, you can book a room with a private outdoor shower.
Sunset readers get a special rate of $199 during February; two-night minimum on weekends; breakfast included; 760/323-1858. –MacKenzie Geidt
3. Lanai, HI
A (nearly) private island: The pineapple plantation–era Hotel La–na‘i is a closely held secret to those who know this is the way for non-moguls to stay on the island of Lanai, otherwise monopolized by two Four Seasons resorts. The hotel’s 10 rooms are known for a simple charm―but also paper-thin walls and creaky floors.
Now, though, there’s been a complete redo of a cottage out back that shares walls with no one and has a hammock slung in a pretty, private garden. You’ll still hear the restaurant’s live music weekend nights, but chances are you’ll be dancing with the locals anyway. Cottage from $179, including breakfast; 808/565-7211. –Jeanne Cooper
4. Near Salt Lake City
Ski to an indulgent meal in the woods: Winter evenings, a small group straps on headlamps at Solitude Mountain Resort before cross-country skiing or snowshoeing into the woods with a guide.
The destination? A yurt 3/4 mile away, where a chef prepares five decadent courses. An easy trip back means some well-deserved rest before waking up to breakfast in bed. Gourmet Escape package: $198 for a room for two at the Inn at Solitude, including breakfast, plus $100 per person for the yurt dinner; 877/517-7717. –Vanessa Chang
5. Near Yountville, CA
Your wine country cottage: The Cottages of Napa Valley, two rows of cheery suites facing a shaded lawn and garden dotted with fountains, outdo Napa’s famed luxury hotels on hospitality, throwing in complimentary wine, snacks, and a breakfast basket of Bouchon Bakery pastries delivered to your porch.
In high season, nightly rates start at $375, but through February, a special package gets you two nights, plus dinner at Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc and a private wine tasting, for $595 all told―a pretty sweet deal in these parts. 707/252-7810. –Lisa Trottier
6. Near Todos Santos, Baja, Mexico
Secret Mexican retreat: Leave Cabo to the spring break crowds. The real paradise is 45 miles north at the dreamy, brand-new Rancho Pescadero. A dozen super-chic Bali-meets-Baja rooms are steps from a deserted beach where baby sea turtles make their way to the waves.
The bohemian town of Todos Santos is only 6 miles away, but it’s hard to leave when fresh lime margaritas and just-caught fish are so close to the pool. Go now, while it’s still both a secret and a steal. From $185 U.S., including breakfast; 650/823-0815. –MacKenzie Geidt
Next: 5 laid-back escapes