The breakfast buffet at Hilton Molino Stucky's Il Molino restaurant, which is included in some rates, is an exceptional spread. Arrayed are much more than just the standard juice, rolls, eggs, and pigmeat.
Delicacies such as smoked salmon, smoked tuna, and smoked swordfish as well as salads, breads, rolls, sweet cakes, butter, jams, salami and prosciutto are presented.
Even the fruit selection is impressive; in addition to the melons and citrus one would normally expect to find, the breakfast buffet also includes figs, coconut chunks, and plump golden raisins.
Alas, as wonderful as the buffet offerings are and as stylish and comfortable Il Molino is, the staff at breakfast is both negligent (guests must plead for a refill coffee or juice) and overeager to clear places to allow in a new set of diners to ignore.
Dinner service at Il Molino and the Speciality Restaurant in the hotel, which has an outdoor terrace overlooking Venice, starts at 7:30, which can leave jet-lagged guests famished. In a pinch, opt for tea in the lobby lounge between 4 and 6pm.
Or take a seat in the Rialto lobby bar, which serves salads and burgers. But be prepared to swallow high prices; in late 2007 we paid 28 Euros ($40) for a burger and fries.
Fortunately, Venice is overflowing with places to eat, from small trattorias (we picked up a scrumptious tuna sandwich three blocks from the hotel for under 6 Euros) to sidewalk cafés to the legendary Cipriani eateries.
Harry's Dolce, which is run by Cipriani, is only about a five-block walk from the hotel. Prices are very high, but it's one of those once-in-a-lifetime experiences worth indulging in -- especially if you order a Bellini. Cipriani originated this aperitif, an ambrosial combination of fresh peach nectar and prosecco, an Italian champagne.