We've stayed at a lot of the mid-range options in Manhattan, The Roger Smith, The Mansfield, The Algonquin, The Shoreham, The Iroquois, On the Avenue etc. - so we have a good idea what your money buys you and the service you can expect, generally not much!However, I'm happy to say we highly recommend the Nolitan after a recent five night stay.
It was an excellent experience and we were very happy with the choice. I didn't make it to the modest free breakfast but we very much enjoyed the wine and snacks in the evening, generously from 6-8pm, thanks Joy! The staff were uniformly pleasant and several times gave me a cup of tea (at no charge) when asked as there was no tea in the room. I appreciate the tea and coffee in the lobby till noon.
The room was relatively small but this is typical for NY and it was better designed than most. I liked the open shower (which made the room seem larger) and the separate loo. Loved that they had Red Flower products - thankfully paraben free!
The location is wonderful, close to several subways, Soho, Chinatown, Little Italy and the LES, we loved it. Yes it's on a fairly noisy street so you'll want a room on a higher floor. This is worth paying for. We're looking forward to staying when the rooftop bar and the restaurant open I just hope it doesn't get too much more expensive.