A 21-year-old guest at the International Inn on Thomas Circle was shot early yesterday morning when he walked into the lobby of the hotel and surprised two unidentified holdup men, D.C. police said.

The guest, identified by police as Abdunasser Haddudi, was in stable condition yesterday at George Washington University Hospital after being treated for a gunshot wound in the chest.

Police said that at about 6:30 a.m. yesterday two men, one of whom was armed with a handgun, came into the lobby of the Thomas Circle hotel. The gunman pointed the gun at the three employes working behind the front desk and the two men jumped over the desk, demanding money.

After taking $200 from the cash register, the holdup men tied up employe Ferman Villar, 53, taking his watch and $14 and then turned to another hotel worker, Hygin U. Olumba, 34, and hit him in the head with the gun, knocking him unconscious.

They then ordered hotel manager Nathan Iyer to open the safe. He refused and the men took his watch and $22.

At this point, Haddudi walked into the deserted lobby of the hotel. Surprised by his entrance, one of the holdup men fired once, hitting him in the chest. The two robbers then fled the hotel.

The case is under investigation, police said.