Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson, after an earnings report that also beat predictions, on Wednesday told CNBC that the looming threat of sequestration — the automatic government spending cuts that will take effect March 1 if no deal is cut — was the sole reason for a darkened outlook. "We know it will not be good for our business," he said.
(Read more: 5 Reasons Not to Worry About the Dreaded Sequester)
Walter said he too is concerned about the fiscal drama playing out in Washington, but noted that "the first six weeks of this year have been very strong. Revenue per available room growth ... was up over 9 percent. And we look at our group bookings for the last three quarters of the year, our group revenues are projected to be up 8 percent."
Host, which has 103 properties in the U.S. and 15 more abroad, saw fourth quarter per-room revenue jump more than 17 percent in Los Angeles and Seattle as well as double-digit growth in Hawaii and San Francisco, and Walter credits a West Coast comeback.
"I think you've got a combination of the economy in California recovering ... and international travel," he said. "There are a lot of travelers coming in from Japan, China and India, and a lot of those are coming to the West Coast."