An initial "two blasts struck the perimeter of the Sahafi hotel along the main road... more than 10 people died, majority civilians and some security guards", said police official Ibrahim Mohamed.
Two vehicle bombs exploded near the Sahafi Hotel and the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) on Friday afternoon, before a third bomb, placed in a three-wheeled "tuk-tuk", exploded on a busy street near the hotel.
"The death toll may rise because some people are still missing".
The blasts came a day before the first anniversary of a truck bombing that left more than 500 dead in Mogadishu, the worst ever attack in Somalia which was blamed on Al-Shabaab.
Police official Ibrahim Mohamed said information received from various hospitals indicated that the number of dead had reached 41, with another 106 wounded.
"Although they failed to access the hotel, the blasts outside the hotel killed many people", said Hussein. "Abdifatah Abdirashid, the hotel owner, and three of his bodyguards died", Abdiqani said.
"There was chaos after the blast". The blasts appeared to be suicide bombs that detonated near the perimeter wall of the hotel.
Al-Shabab said it targeted government officials staying at the hotel.
The Shabaab were forced out of the capital by African Union troops in 2011.
But they still control parts of the countryside and attack government, military, and civilian targets, seemingly at will, in Mogadishu and towns in the region.