Magazine article Sunset

Top 10: Exhale. 10 Hideaways That Press the Pause Button on the End-of-Year Whirl

Magazine article Sunset

Top 10: Exhale. 10 Hideaways That Press the Pause Button on the End-of-Year Whirl

Article excerpt

1 MONUMENT VALLEY, AZ

Blend into the scenery

Daydreaming is the main activity at the View Hotel, where every room has a balcony with vistas of those iconic sand-stone 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; monumentvalleyview. com-DINA MISHEV

Snuggle into one of the Methow Valley's Rolling Huts to watch shadows play on the peaks above the ponderosas

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 posthike 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; sacred sands.com -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 ItAU. 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 i3,ooo-acre wilderness will be rewarded with the Wild Cat Cabin's view of Tahoe's Emerald Bay. $313 for 2 nights on a weekend for either cabin; includes trail passes, ski rentals, and, if you like, a lesson; spoonerlake.com -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; hacienda corona.com -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. …

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