Three women have been attacked with a hammer at a hotel in London's West End, leaving one victim fighting for her life.

Police are investigating after the women were attacked in their room on the seventh floor at the four-star Cumberland Hotel, just off Oxford Street in central London.

Three children were also in the room at the time of the attack.

The women, all in their 30s, were thought to be visiting London from the United Arab Emirates.

Detectives believe that the suspect was disturbed when some of the occupants of the room woke up, and the three women were subsequently assaulted with a hammer which was later recovered at the scene.

All three injured were taken to hospital where one of the women was said to be in a life-threatening condition. A second woman is reported to be in a serious but stable condition, with the third described as stable.

DCI Chalmers said: "This was an unusually violent attack on three women and I am very keen to speak with anyone who was in or around the hotel between 01.00hrs and 02.00hrs on Sunday morning.

"Did you see or hear anything that could be of use to my officers? If so, we would like to hear from you as soon as possible."

Prices of rooms at the plush hotel range from £140 to £400 a night. Guests were told of the attack the morning after and normal services is said to have resumed.

A spokesman for Guoman Hotels, who run the Cumberland, said: "We are very concerned about the people who were injured and are doing everything we can to help the police with their enquiries."