08 AUGUST 2006

Singing sensation James Blunt is moving to his luxurious new pad on Ibiza in the hope it'll provide the inspiration he needs to come up with a second album as successful as his first – the international best-selling Back To Bedlam. The ex-army officer has visited the Balearic island for the past six years, but finally decided to invest in his own place after getting his mum Jane to help find the perfect hideaway. Despite travelling around the world, James set his heart on the Spanish hot spot. "I've been all over the world, and so many people seem to look out for themselves," he explains. "In Ibiza everyone seems to have a smile on their face." The Harrow-educated singer has already stayed at the £1.7 million property with his model girlfriend Petra Nemcova, 27.

Mum Jane discovered the stunning 150-year-old hilltop villa, which has six bedrooms, a library, sun terrace and outdoor pool and staff quarters. James, who also owns a small flat in Fulham, West London, is said to just be waiting for the arrival of a grand piano to begin working on his new material. The 32-year-old star joins a host of other celebrity home-owners on the Mediterranean isle, including French footballer Zinedane Zidane and Jade Jagger who has an 18th-century smallholding in the village of Sant Joan where Kate Moss is a regular visitor.

Ibiza has long been popular with the party set who flock to famous dance clubs such as Amnesia and Privilege on its south coast. One of the oldest but best is Pacha, which was opened in 1973 by a Spanish hippie, and is where VIPs like Mick Jagger and Bono like to hang out. Music fans flock to the Manumission club in high season for Ibiza Rocks – a series of live gigs that attracts big name bands such as the Babyshambles and Kaiser Chiefs.

Inland and further north there is a more tranquil Ibiza. World class restaurants, bohemian boutique hotels and sandy beaches have made it one of the most fashionable getaways for the jet-set. While celebrities often rent a villa, others in search a luxurious getaway head to the Hacienda Na Xamena on the northwest coast. Built on a stunning cliffside location, the Moroccan-themed hotel has incredible sea views and a spa offering hydrotherapy treatments. Meanwhile, dinner on the bougainvillea-filled patio at Los Dos Lunas is the perfect place to dine under the stars alongside the fashionable crowd.

Photo: AFP
James and his girlfriend Petra (pictured on a recent trip to Prague) have already spent time at the singer's luxury hideaway on Ibiza. He's now aiming to write his second album there
Photo: AFP
The 'other' Ibiza on the north coast is dotted with secluded coves and stunning, sandy beaches
Hacienda Na Xamena is the perfect getaway for those wanting to explore Ibiza's more tranquil side. The boutique hotel offers a stunning cliffside location with views out to sea, plus a spa featuring hydrotherapy treatments
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