Hampton, New Hampshire
My mom and I speak no French and we've heard Parisians are less than thrilled to deal with that. What would be a good affordable hotel that is accomodating to non-French speakers?
As some have commented, the old stereotype about Parisians not liking people who don't speak French is an old wives tale, if it was ever true. Sure knowing a few words of French (say, 5 total) will grease the wheels greatly (Oui, Pardon, Merci, Merci Beaucoup, Sil-vous-plait). These are probably words you do know anyway .. I go to Paris quite often, and the people have always always been very very friendly and nice. I think the only time you may see any "rudeness" (I think of it as more efficiency/abruptness) is when you go to a Bisto, etc. and don't understand the logistic of how they run those (unlike how they do in US/UK). I would highly recommend reading this guide by Wendy Lyn of The Paris Kitchen (www.thepariskitchen.com) - http://www.thepariskitchen.com/paris-restaurant-reviews/paris-restaurant-faq/. Actually, read all her stuff -- she really knows her way around that town.
As for a cheap hotel, I actually now just use AIRBNB.COM to rent a place -- it's generally much cheaper than hotels, and for the same price (sometimes) you can get your own private apartment, etc! As for an area, I am especially fond of Montmartre ! It's like it's own city within a city!
Have a great time and don't fret it -- he happy and polite and the world will be polite back! (Well, mostly! LOL).
Don't worry about not speaking French. Any good hotel in the $150 a night range will have English speaking staff. If you are staying a week and don't care if there is one bed, I would recommend this apartment from Paris Vacation Apartments. http://www.parisvacationapartments.com/our-apartments/studio/saint-germain-beautiful-studio-2/
It is in an excellent location. It will be a little under or a little over $150 a night, depending on when you go. Although there is a week minimum, they have some openings for less than 7 nights in December. It's also more expensive between December 19 and January 7. My friends and I have rented apartments from them many times and their apartments have everything you need, including a fully-equipped kitchen, washer/dryer, umbrellas, guide books, iron and ironing board, and computer with internet. They are English speaking and they will assist you with recommendations, reservations and transportation and answer questions. My wife broke her wrist once and they arranged for English speaking paramedics to come meet us very quickly.
I would recommend trying AirBnB for a friendly, inexpensive, place to stay in Paris. More importantly, I would like to dispel the notion that French people are unfriendly to Americans. In my opinion, this is the perspective of American tourists who go overseas unwilling to respect the culture and customs of a foreign country. In Paris, it is polite to address people with a simple "bon jour" (hello) when you enter a store/hotel/restaurant. I always learn just a few words in the language of where I'm going (please, thank you, hello, goodbye, excuse me). If you greet people with a smile and a "hello" in their native language, you'll not only get a friendly greeting back, you'll get a lot more out of your trip by immersing yourself in a new culture.
James Michener once said, “If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion, and avoid the people, you might better stay home.”
Bon voyage to you and your mom!
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I don't think that's entirely true. A lot of Parisians speak English, especially those who work in hotels, and have no problem speaking it. It is however good, anywhere you visit, to try and speak some of the local language. Making a point of saying "bonjour" back when people greet you in shops and such, and "merci" when warranted is nice.