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Amboise - good home base for family holiday?

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We would like to spend a week in the Loire as part of our 5-week vacation in France and Italy. What do you think of Amboise as a home base for exploring the area?
Any other towns you think would be better suited? We want to explore the chateaux and towns, bike a bit, visit markets, etc.
Accommodation ideas - self-catering in the countryside yet close to a town with amenities (groceries, restaurant, etc)?Approx $2000US for the week is our budget. 2bdrms with a pool.
Our kids are 3,8 and 10.
Thanks!

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