The all-inclusive family beach resort Club Med Cherating, which has been open for 41 years in Pahang, is up for sale, according to sources.
Club Méditerranée, or Club Med, is the owner of the property, which was established in 1980.
It reportedly opened under Club Med co-founder Gilbert Trigano and Tan Sri Philip Kuok, the eldest of the legendary Kuok brothers.
The resort operator is rumoured to be looking for a strategic partner to take over the property, said people with knowledge on the matter.
Club Med's senior vice-president of commercial Southeast Asia (SEA) and Marketing Asia Pacific (APAC), Vincent Ong, confirmed that the French resort operator is selling, but it was in no rush to dispose of the property.
The sale of the "village," if it does happen, is part of the group's strategy of selling assets at a reasonable price and being asset-light, he told NST Property.
Club Med, founded in April 1950, operates close to 70 resorts in holiday locations around the world.
The "village" is a Club Med slang term for "resort", which refers to its holistic offerings.
He said that Club Med is not looking to cash out of Malaysia by selling the property, but rather to enter into a sale-and-leaseback agreement with the new owner so that it may continue to manage it.
"We have owned the property for the past 40 years and are looking for a partner now to take it to the next level. We'll keep it running as part of a long-term lease. Everything in the hospitality industry is long-term," Ong said.
Club Med Cherating is Asia's first resort. It lies between a tropical forest and the South China Sea.
The 85-hectare site is roughly the size of 119 football fields.
It has 300 rooms and provides a wide range of amenities as well as a variety of activities in the tropical jungle to its customers.
Ong said the resort has been doing exceptionally well, and has been flooded with inquiries since the recent announcement that interstate travel will be permitted beginning October 11.
Malaysia resumed interstate and international travel on Monday, after more than 90 per cent of the adult population had been completely vaccinated across the country.
"Our website traffic increased within 24 hours of the 3 p.m. announcement a few days ago. We have never seen such traffic. This weekend, we are at full occupancy, and our revenue is nine times greater. The opening of interstate travel was sweet news to us.
"Club Med Cherating is one of Malaysia's hundreds of resorts and hotels. While the opening of the interstate border is good for us, it will be the same for other hotels and resorts," he said.