La Casa de la Abuela (Giráldez 691, tel. 064/22-3303, www.incasdelperu.org , US$10 dorm, US$14 s or d with breakfast) is a charming 1930s house stuffed with art objects, maps, magazines, games, and books. La Casa de la Abuela is more like a forgetful household than an efficient hotel, but that is precisely its charm.
The second floor’s sporadic water, an early-rising, squawking parrot, and other blemishes are wiped away by a yummy breakfast of coffee, bread, fruit, and juice plus a welcoming calentito, a hot pisco drink. Having worked with backpackers for so long, the hotel is a beehive of traveler information and is only a 10-minute walk from downtown. Rooms without baths are slightly cheaper.
Peru Andino Lodging (Pasaje San Antonio 113, tel. 064/22-3956, www.geocities.com/peruandino_1 , US$10 pp shared bath, US$12 pp with private bath) is a modern home in a quiet neighborhood run by Juana and Luis Sanabria. The beds are firm, bathrooms are clean, and the surrounding San Carlos neighborhood is absolutely quiet. There are two nice rooftop rooms with a bit more privacy, and staying with older Luis and Juana is a bit like visiting your grandmother’s home. All the care and hot tea you’d ever want.
Susan’s Hotel (Real 851, tel. 064/20-2251, www.susanshotel.com , US$22 s, US$29 d) is another modern hotel on the main street with clean bathrooms, firm beds (with kitschy lion bedspreads), and quiet back rooms.
Walking distance from the Plaza Constitución, Retama Inn (Ancash 1079, tel. 064/21-9193, retamainn73 [at] hotmail [dot] com, US$14 s, US$27 d with breakfast) is centrally located. The 20 clean rooms have all the basic amenities: comfy beds, carpet, cable TV, phones, room service, and private baths. The traditionally decorated café bar is great for evening drinks.
Hotel Turismo Huancayo (Ancash 729, tel. 064/23-1072, www.hoteles-del-centro.com , US$50 s, US$60 d) is an elegant 1930s colonial-style hotel, smack in the center of town, with good views over the Plaza Huamanmarca. The long tile hallways are a cool escape from the busy city, and rooms are genuinely comfortable: king-size beds, heater, cable TV, WiFi, and immaculate bathrooms. If you want to be in the city and need some comfort, this is your place.
Located 20 minutes north of 32423 link Huancayo], the new Hotel Loma Verde (Leopoldo Peña, Concepción, tel. 064/58-1569 or Lima tel. 01/242-7599, www.lomaverdeperu.com , US$60 s, US$90 d full board) has plenty of country charm. The main lodge has sitting areas with fabulous views over the Mantaro Valley. Rooms are crafted from stone, plaster, and exposed beams and feature feather comforters, fireplaces, and porches with sunset views. The restaurant serves a wide variety of food on a veranda, and food is often cooked in the pachamanca pit or over open fire. It’s an additional US$5 per day for lunch and dinner. There are horses and mountain bikes for rent. The only drawback is audible truck traffic on the highway below.
Derrama Magisterial Huaychulo (Oriente s/n, Concepción, tel. 064/58-1001, cpijno [at] derramajae [dot] org [dot] pe, US$39 s, US$75 d) is a country retreat with pleasant walks and good reading rooms—but it’s not as charming as Hotel Loma Verde. Bedrooms are simple and clean with mediocre bathrooms.
For those willing to forgo charm for a firm bed, plenty of hot water, and a central location, there’s the modern Hostal El Marquéz (Puno 294, tel. 064/21-9026, www.elmarquezhuancayo.com , US$43 s, US$57 d with breakfast). Rooms are large, carpeted, and quiet. There is cable TV and WiFi.