If you take a look at the New Year's Roll Call Trip Report you'll notice that the tradition of being out of the country for New Year's Eve began in 2000 in Cancun, Mexico. From there it increasingly improved, went stale for a couple of years, until rebounding.
Post Uber delays at the airport, I was ready to arrive at the hotel and maintain my streak of checking in early. I forgot to recall two points: 1. Miami is the worst place for customer service in the world. 2. Explorist status gets you Rodney Dangerfield respect.
You can't beat the Hyatt Place when it's a cash and points deal. $55 + 4k points is one of the best values in the points world.
It's not all about South Beach when it comes to Miami. There are many great areas of Miami including Brickell, the next most livable city after Scottsdale, Arizona. Brickell is the financial district of Miami which is why it has high end hotels like the Mandarin Oriental, the Four Seasons, and the Conrad.
Is it me or are the Amex Centurion Lounges losing its spunk? Maybe it's because I spent all day the Vegas one eating chicken or perhaps it's because I'm back in the MIA lounge having been here a week before and they are serving kitchie craft food instead of standard breakfast.