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Athens for two nights then the islands

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Hello good folk of Fodors!
Turning to your collective wisdom for some advice once again!
Planning a three week holiday to Greece with two grown kids in tow once again ( daughter 23 and son 21)...July 2017
Plan is to fly from Sydney to London
Fly to Athens
Stay in Plaka area Im thinking
See the Acropolis
Then we will charter a catamaran and spend two weeks sailing the islands
Ive been to Santorini (spent five days there)...husband has been to Mykonos and has sailed round quite a few of the islands...kids haven't been to Greece and don't mind what we do...they wont be partying as such
We would like to get as far as Crete but that may not be possible and Ill leave the itinerary up to husband

So for the time being my question is:
where to stay as a family around the Plaka district?
I stayed with a tour group back in 2005 within walking distance (at a big stretch) of Plaka in a pretty nice hotel but I wouldn't stay there again..I think itd be cost prohibitive and the area had little to offer

Has anyone got some suggestions for accommodation in the Plaka itself?
Not against an apartment but we wont be cooking...just want safe, pleasant surrounds and a nice place to stay
Nice for me = clean with reasonable standard bathroom and comfy beds...nothing malodorous or dodgy in any way :)
If anyone can suggest a better place to stay that is central then Id be willing to reconsider my first choice
( just thought Plaka might be more vibrant to stay in)

Thank you all!

And if anyone has sailed the Greek islands, Id welcome any suggestions about the smaller islands we could stop at...having our own catamaran does give us some freedom of choice..weather dependent of course

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