A former Thomas Cook boss many blame for crippling the travel giant spent his summer holidays in his luxury £2million Spanish villa.
Manny Fontenla Novoa chilled out with his family at the plush property in July as Thomas Cook struggled against mounting debts.
The fat cat father-of-four pocketed £17million during his controversial four years at the bust travel giant.
Spanish property records show Manny, who quit Thomas Cook in 2011 following a series of profit warnings, plunging share prices and the carbon monoxide deaths of two British children, has put the Costa Blanca hideaway in doting wife Lesley’s name.
Thomas Cook’s debt stood at £891 million, with annual interest charges of £122 million when he left.
Neighbours said the couple holiday at the luxury property, in a quiet cul-de-sac in hills near the upmarket resort of Javea, up to three times a year.
The gated five-bed hideaway, which lies in the shadow of the stunning 2,500ft Montgo mountain, boasts a large infinity pool overlooking pine woods below and two chill-out areas with a pergola and BBQ.
One neighbour, who asked not to be named, said: “They were here in July with family.
“They come about three times a year. People round here knows Manny used to be a Thomas Cook boss but it’s not something we ask about.”
A Brit expat who knows him added: “I suspect he’ll be keeping his head down next time he’s over for a bit of R&R.
“He’s always struck me as a nice enough bloke and he’s not the flashy type when he’s holidaying here but you can imagine people giving him grief if they’ve been caught up in some of the mess he’s been blamed for.”
There was no answer at the door of the Galician-born travel chief’s holiday home over the weekend and the shutters on the windows were pulled down, although a maintenance man appeared to be working on the pool.
The 65-year-old former Thomas Cook chief executive, one of a trio of fat cats who creamed off £47 million in pay and perks before the travel firm sank under £1.6 million of debt, is still selling holidays to Brits as president of online travel agency Logitravel Group.
He sold a sprawling country mansion he owned with his wife in Surrey for £4million in 2017 but they also have a £1million pound flat in central London as well as their Spanish home.
Mr Fontenla Novoa, whose real first name is Jesus Manuel, has admitted to being nicknamed Manny after the blundering Fawlty Towers waiter played by the late Andrew Sachs.
Claiming he was worried about the firm’s future when biggest single shareholder Fosun was still trying to conclude a rescue deal, he said before the collapse: “Thomas Cook will always be in my heart and I know many people at the firm, especially in the shops.
“I’ve been worried but I was confident the company wouldn’t fail. In fact I had shares in Thomas Cook and didn’t sell them. That shows I was confident a solution would be reached.
“They have been very difficult times, but with Fosun which is a great company, things will get better very quickly.
“Fosun treats its business partners very well and from what I know of them we have to be very optimistic.”
It was reported earlier this week Thomas Cook chiefs had tried desperately to claw back some of the pay and bonus Mr Fontenla Novoa received during his tenure, including a £1.2 million payoff.
Chelsea fan Mr Fontenla Novoa, who emigrated to the UK from his native Galicia when he was a schoolboy, was also heavily criticised for failing to meet the grieving family of two children killed by carbon monoxide poisoning on a 2006 Thomas Cook holiday in Corfu or offering an apology.
A May 2015 inquest found the travel firm breached “its duty of care” over the deaths of Christi and Bobby Shepherd, aged six and seven.