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Five Game-Changing, Solar-Powered Vacation Getaways

Photos: Shakti Himalaya

Situated an hour's hike into the wilds of northern India, the Shakti 360° Leti eco resort looks a lot more modern than one might expect. The solar-powered compound also uses recycled grey water, composts to dispose of food waste, and only utilizes local produce in its kitchen. While the positive impact on the environment certainly appeals to potential visitors, we're pretty certain that it was the remoteness of this stacked-stone getaway, rather than a green building ethos, that drove those design decisions. That said, walls of glass and a minimalist aesthetic appeal to both the left and right brain. A three-night, four-day package, including guided trekking, costs a heady $1,916 per person.

Photos: Personeni Raffaele Scharer

? This tiny, modern, solar-powered mountain hut in the Swiss Alps was formerly a tiny, aging, decrepit mountain hut in the Swiss Alps. Retaining as much of the original structure as possible, the place was renovated and is now powered by a solar panel. That's partially owing to the difficulty of stringing electric lines up to this rock outcropping at 6,069 feet. The sleek interiors are complemented by raw concrete brought in to fortify the structure. Needless to say, the views are utterly stunning.

Photos: Eggleston Farkas Architects

? Just when we got to thinking that the only cool solar-powered escapes were to be found in far-flung locales, this stateside beauty, set in the foothills of Washington State's Cascade Mountains, proved us wrong. Designed by Seattle-based Eggleston Farkas Architects, the Nighthawk Retreat is a sleek mountain retreat that's not only powered by solar panels, but also utilizes further green tech that won it an award of "Sustainable Merit at the Excellence in Concrete Construction Awards."

? Thankfully, not all solar-powered homes are clean-lined modernist creations. This wood-framed home in Big Bear City, Calif. has a boring beige-on-beige color scheme and far-from-distinguished furnishings, but it's still powered by the Cienaga Creek Ranch's solar array. Nightly rates start at $650.

? The sun-drenched deserts near Joshua Tree National Park in Southern California are ripe for solar power, and this understated country escape takes full advantage. The mid-century structures sit on five acres of solitude, and rent for as low as $75 per night. Still, the name, Rattler Ranch, is more than a little off-putting for the snake averse.

· Shakti is a Solar-Powered Eco Retreat Nestled in the Himalayas [Inhabitat]
· Tranquil Swiss Alps Shelter Renovated into a Cozy Solar-Powered Retreat [Inhabitat]
· Eggleston Farkas Architects’ Nighthawk Retreat is an Eco-Getaway in the Cascade Foothills [Inhabitat]
· Secluded Luxury [Tripadvisor]
· Rattler Ranch [Tripadvisor]