Journalist and businesswoman Hodan Nalayeh and her spouse Farid, were among many killed when a suicide bomber rammed his vehicle loaded with explosives into the entrance of the Asasey Hotel in the southern port town of Kismayo.
Several gunmen forced their way into the building, shooting indiscriminately, according to Dalsan Radio and the BBC.
Many of the guests at the hotel were politicians and traders who were there ahead of upcoming regional elections.
Hodan Nalayeh, journalist and founder of integration TV, her husband Farid, three Kenyans, three Tanzanians, two Americans and a Briton were among those killed.
Al-Shabaab militant group has claimed responsibility for the attack.