Secluded vacation spots that press the pause button on the day-to-day whirl
Top 10 Peaceful Winter Getaways
David Fenton
View Hotel earns its namesake with sprawling vistas of snow-dusted desert

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 –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

Thomas J. Story
The elegant Rolling Huts make for chic snowy hideaways

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

7. Near Walden, CO: Wake up in high country

In winter, the craggy territory around 10,000-foot Cameron Pass and the Never Summer Mountains is about as wild as it gets. If you’re game for a 2-mile ski or snowshoe with your stuff on your back, head to the Never Summer Nordic yurts or cabins (from $110; 2-night weekend minimum), where you can bunk in a private (and surprisingly cozy) dome in the middle of the Colorado State Forest. The less-rugged option: Do day explores, returning before nightfall to a cabin at the 1930s Drifter’s Cookhouse (opens Dec 31; from $70). –Ted Stedman

8. Mt. Hood, OR: Hide out at a farmhouse

Mornings, a fire blazes in a wood-burning stove, and scents of cinnamon and brown sugar waft from the kitchen at the Mt. Hood Bed & Breakfast. Out the window of the Victorian farmhouse, set on 42 acres of pear orchards and pastureland, the perfect pyramid of the mountain leaps from the drifts. And around a communal table crowded with platters of hash browns and cast-iron skillets of fluffy German pancakes, there’s talk of snowshoeing, sledding, cross-country skiing, and maybe a pint or two at Elliot Glacier Public House in the no-stoplight town of Parkdale. From $130. –Ted Katauskas

9. Mendocino Coast, CA: The simple life

There’s plenty to see along this jagged stretch of coast, but more often than not, people who pull onto Mar Vista Cottages 9 acres prefer to just settle into the slo-mo rhythm of the place. The 11 charmingly retro cottages from the ’30s and ’40s have no TVs, no phones, and no clocks. Take that as a hint. Wake up when you like and scramble some eggs still warm from the resident hens. Take in the ocean view from your picture window or walk across Highway 1 to Anchor Bay Beach. Later, snip winter greens from the garden to add to your supper and flowers to make a centerpiece. Then slip between sheets that were line dried in the sun and pressed crisp and smooth just for you. From $155; 2-night minimum. Deal: Through Mar 31, weekends are 10 percent off, and weeknights are second night half off or third night free. –L.T.

10. Los Angeles: A Zen home in the hills

Shelly Strazis
Bamboo Retreats is the ultimate Hollywood Hills hideaway

Don’t mistake Bamboo Retreats for a hotel. An “anti-hotel” is more what the owners—one a screenwriter, the other an interior designer—had in mind when they opened the peaceful Hollywood Hills hideout five years ago. Don’t look for a sign, or for that matter a lobby or a bellhop angling for a tip. Instead, you’ll be greeted and ushered right to your door so your vacation can begin immediately. The minimalist Japanese-inspired studios and suites are spare but luxurious, with big views and miniature kitchens—in case you just don’t feel like going out. From $250; 3-night minimum.  –Elizabeth Jenkins

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