On The Road

The Caribbean Escape We’re All Dying For Right Now

Courtesy of one of our favorite resort-wear designers.

By: Laurel Pantin

For those of us in the Northeast right now, the last few weeks have been...rough. The first hint of spring was followed swiftly by a fucking blizzard. Ugh. While winter has to be ending soon, it’s going to be a while before we can cavort in anything leg- or arm-baring. Which makes this trip to Saint Martin, courtesy of A Peace Treaty designer Dana Arbib, all the more appealing.

As someone who has been visiting the island regularly for the last seven years, Arbib is a certified expert in navigating the best beaches, bars, and snacks on the island, all while wearing the best cover-ups and scarves of her own design.


“Seven years ago my parents decided to live nearly half of the year on the Island of Saint Martin. It’s now my home away from home, my great escape, my own personal paradise. I usually travel there at least four times a year, and every time I go I fall in love with it a little more. It never gets old, just more familiar and yet somehow more magical. My frequent travels there have inspired me to move my brand into resort wear; every time I visit, it gives me a newfound focus on what to design for the city girl on her perfect beach vacation.”

“The Lolo spot. ‘Lolo’ is the local nickname for independent eateries, sometimes right on the beach or side of the road. Never far from the water, Lolos are informal, usually featuring nothing more than picnic tables, plastic plates, and tremendously local authentic barbecues.”

“The island of Saint Martin is split in half; one half is Dutch, and the other half is French. Though there are touristic parts of the island, mostly on the Dutch side, there are many hidden spots, places that make you feel like you are on your own secluded island. I have seen many beaches in my lifetime and am positive that Saint Martin has the some of the world’s most beautiful clear-water beaches.”

“One of the top resorts in the world, which features my favorite beach. It is five minutes away from my house and is located adjacent to Baie Longue, the island’s largest beach. The sand is spotless, the water warm, you can float all day. It literally feels like you are in a huge natural swimming pool.”

“We live on the French side of the Island, and many things make it seem like you are actually in France—French grocery stores and food, French men, the French language, and my favorite: French pharmacies. What also makes this island particularly special is this hidden culture that has been created by the blend of locals and many young French relocating to the island. Through that, many small local Creole and French restaurants serve fresh fish and many staples of French cuisine in an atmosphere that is authentic and cool—and unique for the Caribbean. It also has to be said that the locals in Saint Martin are extremely friendly; I have made some lifelong friends there, giving reason to why the island’s tag line is ‘The friendly island.’ I have my favorite spots, which usually include beaches and barbecues. The easy life, the Irie life, the only way to be.”

“We take a boat to this secluded island four minutes from [the] shores of Saint Martin and stay the day. The whole island is comprised of only two restaurants and beach chairs. On the Island there is a little restaurant known for its fantastic Caribbean cuisine owned by French owners Eric and Marion.”

“This is one of the only places I visit on the island that is on the Dutch side. It is run by a Rasta couple and serves only Ital food, the Rasta way. Which means no meat, no dairy, no food that is processed, totally vegan and fresh. Everything they make is picked from their own garden in the back, including the ‘special herbs.’ Every day the menu changes, and you get a plate filled with grains and vegetables cooked by the couple.”

“We also spend time talking to Ras Bushman (the husband), and it ends up being a much-needed therapy session.”

“For a day trip, we take a boat from St. Martin and arrive on the British island of Anguilla 20 minutes later; we immediately go to the Sunshine Shack and spend all day there. This is my favorite place on Earth, literally. I feel somehow it was created for me only. It’s run by a reggae artist named Garvey whose mantra in life is ‘LIVE UP, LOVE UP, LIVE ON.’”

“It’s the most beautiful turquoise-watered beach, with sand which I call cashmere sand. It has the best barbecue I have ever tasted in my life and all the vibes needed for a magical day of relaxation. We were there on a Sunday, where there was a live band playing mostly Bob Marley. We ate, we napped, and we swam while looking at perfect starfish in the waters.”

“Garvey also makes the best BBC’s in the world (Banana, Baileys, Coconut) to drink on the beach.”

“What I like to call ‘Rasta beach.’ It’s a beach frequented by locals. There is a great beach bar there, and many times I have stumbled upon local parties where a DJ sets up on the beach and you dance in the water throughout the day. As well, there is a path you can take at the end of the beach where it leads you to another totally secluded beach.”

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