Rob Thomas from Matchbox Twenty wrote this with Itaal Shur, a songwriter and producer who has worked with Jewel, Robi Rosa and Maxwell (co-writing his first hit, "Ascension (Don't Ever Wonder)." Shur said in a Songfacts interview: "I was already active in the music business. I had some hit records with Maxwell and I was already touring the world with Groove Collective, so people knew me more in the underground scene, but I wasn't as big as Rob Thomas, of course. My manager at the time told me that Pete Ganbarg, who was working at the time at Arista, he was looking for music for the new Santana record. At the time, I had my own band and was performing a lot around the city. I jumped at it because I grew up with an older brother who hipped me up to classic rock and I always loved Santana.
I went up to the office and I wanted to hear what they had first to see what kind of direction they were going for, and when I went up there I heard the Wyclef track, I heard the Dave Matthews track, I heard a couple of other tracks, and I realized there wasn't the kind of track that was, in my opinion, a standard Santana groove like 'Black Magic Woman,' 'Oye Como Va
,' 'Evil Ways.' So I went home and wrote this track on guitar with all the arrangements called 'Room One Seven.' It was about this couple that meet after a long time and have a little tryst in the hotel room.
I brought it to Arista and they loved the instrumental and they liked parts of the melodies, but they didn't like the lyrics - they thought it was a little too sexual for Santana - so they asked me if I wanted to work with Rob Thomas. I didn't know him; I'd heard a little bit about Matchbox Twenty. He happened to live at the time in Soho very close to me. He came over and he had already written the verses to the instrumental that Arista gave him. I had a chorus that had the same melody: 'Room One Seven on the seventeenth floor. Take the elevator and I'll meet you at the door.' He didn't have a chorus, so before he came, I changed the words around to, 'Give me the ocean, give me the moon, give me something hot to make my body move,' and this turned into the chorus that we all know."