$ = $100 or less
$$ = $100-$175
$$$ = $175-$250
$$$$ = over $250
Blue Lake Ranch, near Durango, CO: Snowshoe or cross-country ski à deux past stands of 150-year-old cottonwoods along a riverside trail, or dogsled or ride horseback through the snowy woods nearby. Fuel up first with a hearty breakfast of tamales and scones (served with heavenly ranch-made preserves and wildflower honey). Make it interesting: Spend an afternoon exploring the Ancestral Puebloan cliff dwellings at nearby Mesa Verde National Park ($10 per vehicle). $, including breakfast; two-night minimum. – Amy Marr
Villa Amor, Sayulita, Mexico: The 35 villas at this resort, some set into a terraced hillside with decks that have little or no railing, are a great place to feel a frisson. From this aerie you can take in all the sights and sounds of the beach without venturing anywhere. Mini kitchens (in some villas only) make it even easier to stay in. Make it interesting: Skinny-dip in your private cliffside plunge pool (request a villa that has one). $$ U.S., including breakfast. – A. W.
Todos Santos Inn, Baja, Mexico: Hidden away in a quiet village near Cabo San Lucas is this enchanted brick-and-adobe hacienda. Disappear into one of its antique canopy beds, or head to a nearby beach. $$ U.S., including breakfast. – David Lansing
Figueroa Hotel, Los Angeles: Humphrey Bogart would fit right in at this cinematic Moroccan oasis in the middle of downtown’s flurry. Make it interesting: Catch a concert at the L.A. Live entertainment complex before you head back to North Africa. $$ –MacKenzie Geidt
Hotel McCall, McCall, ID: An urban-chic hotel plunked down in the midst of mountain scenery. Make plans for the next day’s playtime as you stare from your comfy leather couch at huge, glacier-cut Payette Lake and its surrounding ponderosa pines and snowy slopes. Make it new: Drive to Ponderosa State Park and ski an easy mile to the Blue Moon Yurt, where you’ll sit down to spiced wine and a candlelit meal. Torches light your way back. (Ski trip: $90 per person; reservations required; Blue Moon Outfitters, 208/634-3111.) $$, including breakfast. – Laura Stavoe
Korakia Pensione, Palm Springs: Grab the glass of mint tea that awaits you in your Moroccan- or Mediterranean-style room, then head out through French doors onto your bougainvillea-edged patio to sip and stare at the San Jacinto Mountains. Later, go for a swim in one of the inn’s two torch-lit pools under clear desert skies, or catch an outdoor movie. Make it new: Take a 2½-hour guided hike to scenic Tahquitz Canyon ($13 entrance fee; 760/416-7044). $$, including breakfast; two-night minimum on weekends. – Kathleen N. Brenzel
Waters Edge Hotel, Tiburon, CA: Throw open the bayside door of your tranquil coffee- and cream-colored room to hear the clang-clang of rigging knocking against masts on boats below. Look across the sparkling bay to San Francisco and think about how nice it is to be here, out of reach, together. Make it new: Arrive by boat instead of driving. A ferry ride from San Francisco drops you a few doors from the hotel. The salty air on deck lets you know you’re really getting away ($9.50 one-way; blueandgoldfleet.com). $$$, including continental breakfast. – Lisa Trottier
The Orchid Inn, Santa Barbara: Orchid blossoms appear on your pillow each night, the beach is just a short walk away, and rooms have wood-burning fireplaces and private entries. Make it beautiful:Visit Santa Barbara Orchid Estate nursery, 15 minutes away, featuring orchid species and hybrids from around the world. $$$, including breakfast. – Chryss Yost
Tu Tu’ Tun Lodge, Gold Beach, OR: You’ll want to say all those sweet nothings sotto voce so your voices don’t compete with the soothing bubbling of the Rogue River just outside your room. Make it beautiful: Order a “romance basket” ($125), with chilled Champagne and chocolate-dipped strawberries, to take to the soaking tub on your deck. $$, including breakfast. – Susan G. Hauser
Briar Patch Inn, near Sedona, AZ: The gurgle of the stream, occasional bleats from mascot sheep, and rustle of leaves as breezes waft down Oak Creek Canyon provide the background music to these stone-and-wood cabins. Doze together in the large hammocks dotting the garden, or share a bottle of wine on the banks of the creek. Make it beautiful: Between trees, catch glimpses of Oak Creek Canyon’s ocher walls. $$$, including breakfast; two-night minimum. – Nora Burba Trulsson
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