Whether settling in for a week or on a quick layover before plunging into the never-ending adventure that is South America, Lima has plenty of good family-friendly accommodation. And, since the city is booming when it comes to culture and cuisine, it’s worth getting your accommodation right so time is well spent.
Lima is a sprawling metropolis of over nine million inhabitants, so picking where you want to stay can be daunting. Since travelling with a family makes infrastructure more important, it’s wise to stick to the three main tourist districts of San Isidro, Miraflores and Barranco. All these areas hug the coast, are near some of the city’s finest parks and have transport links to the rest of the city. San Isidro and Miraflores are busier and closer to the city centre, whilst Barranco is a sleepier suburb a few kilometres out. Miraflores and San Isidro are more mainstream whilst Barranco is where you’ll find the city’s up-and-coming foodie and art scene. Traveling to Lima, as well as other South American destinations from London is easy with LAN airlines.
Hotels and hostels
Miraflores is full of big hotel chains offering creature comforts in familiar settings and hostels providing cheap respite to weary legs. There really is something for everyone and every budget here.
When it comes to all-out luxury, two hotels stand out. First is the Country Club Lima Hotel in San Isidro which, as its name suggests, is a rather grand pocket of old-school charm in the middle of the city. Facilities for families include a pool, playground, babysitting, highchairs, cots and kids’ menus, and 24 of the 83 rooms are large suites with patios or terraces. There are plenty of communal spaces for kids and parks and beaches on the doorstep. Second is the Belmond Miraflores Park Hotel, right in the heart of Miraflores and overlooking the sea. The rooftop pool and many rooms have panoramic Pacific views, providing a nice sense of place if you’ve just landed in South America. There’s a kids’ cinema in the hotel and babysitting is available.
If these are out of your price range then check out El Tambo Hoteles, which offers basic rooms with extra beds available in a quiet corner of Miraflores. Although facilities are limited, little ones will appreciate romping around the lawned garden. For something a little more unusual (and on the backpacker trail) try Hotel España, a converted mansion with basic rooms full of antiques and a pretty rooftop café.
A home away from home
If you’re staying for a bit longer or just desperate for a kettle and washing machine, there are plenty of self-catering options in Lima. Here are three top picks from Airbnb:
José owns a couple of apartments in a secure and modern seafront block. Although small and with only one bedroom, the apartments can sleep up to four and have everything you need in terms of kitchen and washing facilities. The views and proximity to Lima’s coastal park are an added bonus.
Just a block in from the coast, Juan’s apartment is in a small, modern block with two bedrooms and a communal roof terrace with pool and BBQ. A 24-hour concierge is nice reassurance for families and Miraflores’ largest park, Raimondi, is just a short walk away.
For bigger families or something more extravagant, Liliana’s three-bed, split-level penthouse offers heaps of space, designer interiors and a private rooftop with sea views and hot tub.
Beaches and boutiques
Head into bohemian Barranco and B&Bs and boutiques become more commonplace. Our top pick is Second Home Peru, a beautiful house once owned by the Peruvian sculptor Victor Delfin. Despite the tranquillity of this spot and the extensive art collection spread across eight guest rooms, children are more than welcome and will love the garden and pool. Some rooms have ocean views and to ensure you’re completely inspired, there’s an artist studio on site.
Casa Nuestra B&B also draws upon the arty boho vibes of Barranco. This bright-yellow guesthouse has only five rooms and no outdoor space, so it is more suited to older families. Communal areas include a kitchen, and private or shared bathrooms are available. Its location on the Miraflores side of Barranco makes this a very convenient spot for exploring the city.
In case you happen to be travelling without the kids, Barranco’s most luxurious hotel is Hotel B, a Relais & Chateaux property oozing with romance.
If the city gets a bit too much then head 40 kilometres south to some of Peru’s top surfing spots. Punta Hermosa is famous for its serious breaks and if the sea is too rough to join in, kids will love watching the pros at play. Casabarco is a laid-back 25-room guesthouse with a pool and kitchen just five minutes from the beach.