Insignia Hotel Sarnia (BlackburnNews.com photo by Josh Boyce)

Transformed Drawbridge Inn reopens as new Insignia Hotel

A historic hotel in Sarnia’s downtown is open again after a two-year renovation.

The new Insignia Hotel, formerly the Drawbridge Inn, reopened Wednesday offering a range of 87 rooms or suites.

The 56-year-old building was completely overhauled as part of a $4 million upgrade that began in June 2017.

The interior pays homage to Sarnia with maps of the city hung on the walls of each guestroom.

Choice Hotels Canada President Brian Leon said rooms start at about $180 per night.

“It’s an upscale hotel, and I think it’s going to be priced competitively,” said Leon. “A lot of times the market determines what that’s going to be, it’s not like a set number for any extended period of time, but we would certainly expect that it would be one of the higher-priced hotels in the marketplace.”

Insignia Hotel Sarnia (BlackburnNews.com photo by Josh Boyce)

Insignia Hotel Sarnia (BlackburnNews.com photo by Josh Boyce)

Amenities at the boutique hotel include a business centre, a large lobby bar, valet and porter service, and a soon-to-be-opened Legacy restaurant.

Leon said everything is new but they’ve retained the character of the former Drawbridge Inn.

“The Drawbridge was a hotel that we thought had some great character, some great bones to it, but it was an old property, it was dated and needed some upgrading. What we ended up doing is really a total transformation of the property, it was stripped down to the bare walls and essentially rebuilt.”

A pool and fitness centre, as well as a banquet hall and meeting room, are also being developed with current plans for completion in summer 2020.

The Insignia is Choice Hotels Canada’s 14th Ascent Hotel Collection property and currently employs 46 people.

-With files from Dave Dentinger