Larry have a look at all the Venice hotels that LL offers: Venice Five-Star Hotel Deals | Luxury Link
A few years ago, we stayed at the Luna Hotel Baglioni Hotel in Venice, San Marco: Luna Hotel Baglioni, a stone throw away from the Saint Marco Square. Our room was lovely and the hotel had an excellent restaurant, the Canova Restaurant. We loved the food and the ambiance was very cosy and intimate. Unfortunately, the Luna Hotel Baglioni it is no longer offered at LL., but have a look at their promotions Packages and offers hotels in Italy, France, London - Baglioni Hotels
If you want to go upscale, I recommend the legendary Bauer Hotels
Both Bauer Hotels are still offered through LL.
"The hotels airy rooms and fanciful suites have views of the gardens, as well as of the water, and the active streets below. Everything you need is right at your fingertips".
Also the Bauer’s Palladio Padio Hotel and Spa is excellent.
A lot of people have first hand experience with the Ca-Sagredo Hotel Ca' Sagredo Hotel in Venice, Italy - Hotel Travel Deals | Luxury Link and you certainly can’t go wrong with it.
All of these hotels have excellent restaurants attached.
If you want to splurge, take a trip over to Cipriani’s. It is a 5 star Orient Hotel Hotel Cipriani by Orient-Express, Venice, Italy - Luxury Hotel and you can stay there, but it is better to go there to have Lunch or Dinner or just go to Fortunay Bar. Hotel Cipriani lets you dine at Venice’s top table.
I think you and your friend would love this for a splurge and for some time out.
Things to do in Venice
Here is a listing of 20 things to do in Venice. 20 great things to do in Venice - Time Out Venice You might find some things that interest you. Beware of just sitting down at a casual cafe or restaurant, we found that generally there is a hefty cover charge. Be sure to inquire first.
Here are the TripAdvisors recommendations Things to do in Venice: Check out 186 Venice Attractions - TripAdvisor where you find many suggestions you might like and many “Must See” suggestions.
If you go out to the Murano Glass Factory, be sure to hold on to your pocketbook. The factory tour is interesting but they are trying very hard to sell you something, and invariably they come down 50% or more in price if you hold out.
Here is another site of things to do which you might enjoy Best Things to Do in Venice | U.S.News Travel
One of the things we enjoyed in Venice were our visits to the many churches. If you are an art lover, do not miss to take short visits to the Venetian churches, especially Santa Marie dela Salute. But you will find works by famous Venetian painters scattered throughout all the city’s churches. Its most famous artists include Canaletto (1697 – 1768), Tintoretto (1518 – 1594) and Giovanni Bellini (1430 – 1516), as well as Tiepolo (1696 – 1770), Titian (1488 – 1576) and Veronese (1528 – 1588). Their works are to be found in all churches both big and small throughout Venice. Giovanni is the main representative of the Venetian Renaissance, and many of his early works are on display in the Academia, Gallerie dell'Accademia | Venezia | The Museum. Veronese, Titian and Tintoretto are considered to be the most important painters of the late Venetian Renaissance. Canaletto and Tiepolo are among the last great Venetian painters – while Canaletto is known for his townscapes, Tiepolo is like no other a representative of the Venetian rococo.
Also an interesting site is the “Churces of Venice” for their history. The Churches of Venice :: San Polo
As to restaurants I can highly recommend from personal experience the Canova Restaurant in the the Luna Baglioni Hotel. According to their website, “The Canova restaurant in Venice, winner of the Fogher d’Oro and Gambero Rosso awards, provides an intimate, cosy atmosphere. The chef proposes suggestions and tastings from the best of Venetian culinary tradition, using extremely high-quality, fresh, seasonal products. The wine cellar offers a wide range of national and international labels.” Reservations are a must since they can only seat about 50 people.
But here is a listing of the Michelin Red Guide suggestions for Venice. Venezia Michelin Restaurants - the Michelin Guide
Here are some transportation resources for getting to and from Venice and getting around in Venice, from the vaporetto to the water taxi. Venice Transportation - Getting Around and To Venice Italy. Whatever you do, do not get onto the vaporettos without a valid ticket. The controls are quite frequent and the fines can be very stiff.
Have fun in planning your trip. If you need any further info, please let me know.