Four homes are competing to see which is the ultimate winner.

Will it be the Manhattan penthouse or the Malibu spread? The suburban Chicago mansion or the colonial estate in Connecticut?

These are the contenders for the real estate gold, and they’re striving to gain the attention of the judges — that’s you — with everything from soaking tubs to chef’s kitchens to a bowling alley.

  • Malibu: This sun-drenched home is a sensory delight, with walls of windows and the scent of the sea.
  • New York City: This Manhattan penthouse (a recent listing) has all the views, and they’re visible from the height of luxury, just steps from Lincoln Center.
  • Chicago: It’s hard to beat a quintessential suburban mansion with a grand staircase and elegant rooms for entertaining and relaxing.
  • Connecticut: Here’s a majestic estate built in the 1920s (and still bringing the glamour).

After you judge all seven rooms and features, we’ll tally the gold, silver and bronze medals for each category, plus the overall winner.Gold Medal Homes Logo_Gold Medal Home - Porchlight

Best kitchen

This is where the culinary magic happens, so the bar is particularly high.

Best noshing spot

Traditionally dining rooms, these areas have morphed to include bars, eating nooks and city overlooks.

Best living room

Picture yourself kicking back here with friends, a screen, or a book — and letting your life unfold.

Best bedroom

Sweet dreams are a given in bedrooms as spectacular as these.

Best bathroom

Show-stopping tubs are the name of the gold-medal game.

Best playground

Great homes offer places to work out the kinks, whether they’re from athletic training or cubicle jockeying.

Best added touch

Because these homes give 110 percent, they have jaw-dropping extras that are the mark of a champion.

Photos by Tim Newhouse of New Vintage Photography (Chicago), listing agent Mark Madonna (Connecticut), Tim Waltman of Evan Joseph Images (New York City), and Scott Everts of SAE Photography (Malibu).