I cannot say “book my hotel in Lima”, as of today, there are so many options in the market. You can arrange rooms or shared accommodation for even one night stay in several websites. Lima is a big city of circa 11 million people and very spread as well covering 800km2 of urban area (in the outskirts of the city there are 180km2 of cultivation area and 1800km2 of mountain area which is unable to be urbanized or to be cultivated)
Saying that, you have to look carefully where you would like to stay, considering there is only one big airport in one of the extremes of the city (north coast, in the province of Callao). Also, please note, that to enter the city from the airport it takes almost 1 hour to any point that is not Callao. My best suggestion is to avoid entering the city twice in a trip. Stay and enter Lima once you arrive in Peru, and when you have ended your visits all around Peru, try to book your last flight back into Lima so that it connects with your flight back home, and if this last flight doesn’t fit into a connection, stay in any of the two hotels that are in the airport area: either the Wyndham hotel inside the airport or the Holiday Inn Lima Airport Hotel which is just outside, but hotel offers free shuttle to/from.
Let’s move on… any area can have a specific reason to stay. Coming to Lima to surf? Book apartments (online options) in Punta Hermosa, the best waves in the city. Punta Hermosa is almost 50km south of the Lima airport. Punta Hermosa also offers rent of boards and surf classes. Coming to Lima for party? Book home stays or backpack hostels in Barranco. There is a nice activity going on in this area, from bars to night clubs with live bands.
On a more serious mood? Coming to Lima for business? Of course, the place is San Isidro for accommodations with all the required facilities for a business trip. The financial district where most of the government bureaus are located together with big company’s buildings.
Ok, general visit to Lima? Wanting to get to know the flavor of the city? The gastronomy? Shops, ocean view? Parks? Walking area? Miraflores is the place. Miraflores offers almost the 70% of the hotel offer including deluxe options, 5-star hotels, 4, 3, 2… and so on…
Barranco, the bohemian district which I mentioned for party, is also place for the nicest boutique hotels in Lima. This special offer includes premium service, comfort and elegant stay near art stores, galleries, private art collections and cozy coffee shops.
What about staying at the Historical Centre of Lima? This area has the privilege of having the first 5-star hotel back in 1972, and then also the very first elegant hotel in the heart of the historic area back in 1924. Things have changed along the years… mainly during the terrorism years (1980-1992) in which this area was totally abandoned. The resurgence of this area has started almost 5 years ago, when several private international companies are betting for this area to rise. I consider it a good plan and with very good potential. So far, there are no boutique or recommended hotels, although there is an offer. Security can be an issue mainly if you walk at night. There are nice plans of opening boutique hotels or nice stays, but so far, only regular hotels… Who would like to start a hotel here? Because the area is so rich in history, in heritage, in sites, in culture, in churches and convents, and in gastronomy!