A Brazilian hotel has been evacuated in the capital of Brasilia after a man took an employee hostage.

Firefighters and police have cordoned off the area and about 300 guests and other employees left the hotel — some reportedly told to leave by the same man carrying out the attack.

Images airing on live television on Monday showed the assailant with what appeared to be a gun parading the hostage out onto the balcony of a room on the 13th floor of the Saint Peter Hotel.

The hostage was handcuffed and wearing what appeared to be an explosive vest. Police didn't confirm whether there were actually explosives in the garment.

Police haven't identified the man or said if he has any demands.