An excellent choice in the upscale neighbourhood of El Olivar (San Isidro), the Sonesta has all the facilities you could need, coupled with unmatched, friendly service. The chain also has hotels in Miraflores, Arequipa, Cusco, Lake Titicaca and the Sacred Valley. See their website for more.
Friendly, family-run, with comfortable, bright rooms, the Hotel Señorial is a great little haven. It's well-placed in Miraflores, with the Larco Mar seaside complex a five-minute walk away. Breakfast included, $50. See www.senorial.com.
Another excellent option is the Casa Andina, also in Miraflores. Bright and breezy, with good service. The Casa Andina chain now has hotels around the country, including Cuzco, Arequipa, the Colca Canyon and Puno. See www.casa-andina.com
In Aguas Calientes/Machu Picchu and also in the Amazon, by the Tambopata Reserve, Madre de Dios:
Although the Machu Picchu Lodge is the nearest hotel to the ruins, it was once a scientific hut, and doesn't manage to shake the fact. It does little to enhance its natural setting, though the glassed-in restaurant area is a welcome addition.
A far better option is the Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel, nestled into a whole hillside beside the town of Aguas Calientes. You have to take the bus to and from the ruins, but this hassle is easily offset by the hotel's architecture, food, service and sophisticated feel.
The hotel's cabin accommodation is spread over a labyrinthine area, paths, flowerbeds and channels of gurgling water separating one grouping from the next. The smoothed structures are painted white, crisscrossed with dark, stained beams amid trees and orchid blossoms. Truly a fantastic place, doing its best to live up to its 'eco' label, for a night before or following a visit to Machu Picchu.
The award-winning Inkaterra also have a beautiful lodge in the Peruvian Amazon, about 45 minutes downstream from the town of Puerto Maldonado. The lodge is a great example of ecotourism in this mega-diverse part of the planet, despite being upscale and 'luxurious' for the middle of the jungle. Enthusiastic and knowledgeable guides take you on various trips close to the lodge. I recommend staying a minimum of three nights to get a feel for the place and the rainforest.
See www.inkaterra.com for more.
Jo's place is the ideal base for adventuring in the Cordillera Blanca. Run by expat Brit Jo and his Peruvian wife Vicky, this place was a home from home for me in 2001 and again when researching the Fodor's guide to Peru in 2005. The accommodation ranges from camping to en-suite rooms. There's also a common room with TV and the English Sunday papers. And, er, I also made their website, here!
Located in a quiet residential street, over the river from the worst of Arequipa's urban bustle, the Hotel Cabildo is the city's newest luxury option. It's not particularly inspiring, but grab a good room, overlooking the quiet inner patio, and it's a good choice.
$70 a double.
tel: 054-204060 email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Cabildo also has a sister hotel in the Colca Canyon, Hotel Rumillaqta. Its appealing log cabins, with private baths and hot water, lie at the entrance to the regional town of Chivay.
With views (but don't hold your breath) of Lake Titicaca in the pretty down-at-heel town of Puno, the Hotel El Lago is a recommended 3-star option. Friendly, unpretentious and decently-priced. $50
tel 054-352625 email email@example.com.