Never fear — we're here to help. Here are our suggestions for surviving (and maybe even enjoying) the onslaught of kinfolk.
Tops downtown is the Ritz-Carlton, where service is arguably the city's best. If your folks (or you) are loaded, pick a room on the concierge floor at this snazzy outpost and you'll be wrangling an invite over to their place so you can enjoy the luxurious lounge's panoramic city views while free-flowing champagne and canapés remain on tap from morning till night.
Further west, the 56-room Hotel Wilshire on the time-honored Miracle Mile is ideal for your trendy cousins who prefer something small, friendly and super-cool. This boutique property's rooftop retreat boasts a swank swimming pool, private cabanas, sunken fire pit and a free wine hour around sunset.
Near UCLA, the Hotel Palomar Los Angeles-Westwood knows the value of keeping kin happy with their "Stay at Our House" program, offering special rates to family members of Angelenos. A lively lobby scene awaits at this splashy overnight outpost, where bold colors dominate the interior landscape.
A seaside alternative, the celebrated Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel sits at water's edge and caters to both humans and canines, the latter enjoying their own dog park. This Westside hotel's signature lobby — a bi-level extravaganza appointed with plush seating and towering palm trees — leads to an outdoor wonderland with fire pits and a massive swimming pool.
Finally, no list of magical L.A. retreats would be complete without the legendary Hotel Bel-Air, an awesome outpost hidden in a secluded setting of lush gardens. This luxurious hillside retreat makes pampering a priority and offers meals from Wolfgang Puck's in-house restaurant. You'll have to make your world-famous holiday bourbon balls extra-delicious this year just to compete.
After settling on the right place to stay, it's time to capture the rapt attention of your clan's kids. Budding space explorers should head for the California Science Center in Exposition Park, where the Space Shuttle Endeavor has permanently landed. Also on tap is an exploration of ecosystems, from chilly ice kingdoms to sandy desertscapes.
Meanwhile, to capture the interest of little ones fascinated by the deep blue sea, schedule an Aquarium of the Pacific stop; it has 19 major habitats on six acres. Kids ages 7 and older get up-close and personal with sea life during behind-the-scenes activities such as feeding schools of fish while being schooled themselves regarding the 11,000 animals thriving in this watery wonderland.
Hands down, the hands-on museum of choice for little ones is Zimmer Children's Museum. This Miracle Mile diversion not only gives tykes the chance to drive an ambulance or pilot a plane but also to play low-tech arcade games, like a massive pinball machine, as well as musical instruments from around the world.
The restaurant scene
Finally, dining with your visiting relatives can satisfy everyone, no matter where in the City of Angels you choose to grab your grub. Still, some places are better than others for accommodating big groups.
One is El Coyote Cafe for Mexican fare. Dating back to 1931, this oversized Mid-City outpost features servers in traditional dress dishing up south-of-the-border treats in huge portions. Your Midwestern dad who was worried he’d have to eat microgreens for his whole stay will be relieved.