A COUPLE who lived at a hotel in Bournemouth says they were drinking and bathing in poisoned water for months.

Charles May, 29, lived at Hinton Firs Hotel for eight months from April 2023 until they were kicked out in November.

BCP council closed the hotel last autumn after the local authority ordered it to clean and disinfect its water systems, which were at risk of legionnaires' disease.

Charles said: "My girlfriend was in hospital with an unknown illness.

"She was constantly vomiting; she had a shaky fever and was pale in the face."

During the eight months the couple lived at Hinton Firs, Charles's girlfriend was in and out of hospital four times. She reportedly lost her job due to being sick so often.

Since they moved out of the hotel, Charles said his girlfriend has 'not had one bad spell.'

The couple moved into Hinton Firs after spending a night there and jokingly saying to the concierge that they would like to live there.

After that comment, they were invited to move in for £500 a month, paid in cash.

Charles said: "It was magical. I was living alone in a castle with my girlfriend.

"But as the weeks went by, I had this unsettling feeling in my stomach.

"There were never any cars in the car park, and I thought it must be too good to be true."

In late October 2023, Charles and his girlfriend were told that they had five days to move out of the hotel.

Charles said: "We were told we had been drinking and bathing in poisoned water.

"The water was then shut off, and we were literally bathing with bottled water."

When the pair arrived back at the hotel a couple of days later, they said they found everything boarded up and could not enter the premises to retrieve their belongings.

Charles said, "If you go into my old room, you will find a fish tank, my TV, my girlfriend's books, and pictures.

"I have lost thousands of pounds and no longer have a home."

"My personal problems side, there were vulnerable people drinking out of the swimming pool because there was no running water.

"Someone could have died."

The Bournemouth Echo has attempted to contact the hotel for comment repeatedly but has not received a response.